An oral-cavity probiotic, BLIS M18 (Streptococcus salivarius), significantly reduces the development of dental caries, or cavities and tooth decay, in children, Blis Technologies and Stratum Nutrition have announced.
The study, published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, represents one of the pioneering attempts to analyze the significance of BLIS M18 in dental practice.
This randomized, controlled study included 76 children between the ages of 6 and 17 who were classified as high-risk for dental caries on the basis of Cariogram results. Cariogram is a clinically proven software program that looks at different caries-related risk factors to aid clinicians in performing consistent risk assessments. Half of the subjects received for 90 days a supplement with a formulation containing the oral cavity probiotic BLIS M18; the other half, the control group, received no treatment.
The study found a statistically significant reduction of more than 30 percent, in the global Cariogram outcome, including parameters of plaque amount (50 percent reduction) and mutans streptococci (75 percent reduction). These decreases are likely to be a direct consequence of the BLIS M18 bacteriocins' interactions with mutans streptococci, as well as M18's ability to colonize and produce the beneficial enzymes dextranase and urease, which counteract plaque formation and saliva acidity.
No statistical difference was observed in the control group. BLIS M18 also demonstrated a very good safety profile with no treatment-related side effects, as found in previous clinical trials.
Joseph Evans, Ph.D., executive manager of research & development for Stratum Nutrition, said, "Using an objective caries-risk assessment algorithm previously validated in children, young adults and seniors, the investigators have found that dietary supplementation with BLIS M18 significantly increases the chances of avoiding dental caries in the coming year in children diagnosed as high-risk. Although requiring confirmation in a larger, controlled trial with development of caries as the primary outcome measure, these results suggest that BLIS M18 has the potential to complement a diligent oral hygiene program and nutritionally balanced diet in the ongoing battle against tooth decay."
Mutans streptococci is one of the contributing factors to the development of dental caries; however, the activity of bacteriocins released by the BLIS M18 probiotic can disrupt its development. Different strains of S. salivarius are capable of counteracting the growth of mutans streptococci and of these, BLIS M18 has shown the strongest clinical potential.
Previous trials evaluating BLIS M18 have revealed its ability to colonize and persist in the human oral cavity, to reduce plaque formation, to lower S. mutans counts in school-aged children, and to modulate the gingival immune response in adults.