Probiotic BLIS M18 may improve chances of avoiding new dental caries

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStockPhoto / shironosov
Image: iStockPhoto / shironosov

Related tags: Dental caries, Streptococcus mutans

Tablets containing BLIS M18 may reduce caries-related risk factors by 30% in children at high-risk for dental caries, says a new study.

Data published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry​ indicated that 90 days of consumption of slowly dissolving oral tablets containing BLIS M18 also led to a 50% reduction in the amount of dental plaque and a 75% reduction in mutans streptococci, especially Streptococcus mutans​ and Streptococcus sobrinus​, bacterial species which are linked to development of caries.

“According to our results, 90 days treatment with this oral probiotic has increased the chances of avoiding new cavities in children,” ​wrote the researchers, led by Francesco Di Pierro from Velleja Research, which developed the finished product tested in this study.

“This outcome is considered attributable to the specific anticariogenic characteristics of strain M18 that, after colonizing the oral mucosa, is able to release bacteriocins, limiting the growth of ​S. mutans and ​S. sobrinus, and the enzymes dextranase and urease, catalyzing the breakdown of dextran (aiding solubilization of plaque) and the hydrolysis of urea (increasing saliva pH).”

BLIS

BLIS is one of the best known probiotics for oral health, and was developed by scientists at the University of Otago in New Zealand. It is a specific strain of Streptococcus salivarius​ (S. salivarius​), which secretes powerful antimicrobial molecules called BLIS: Bacteriocin-Like-Inhibitory Substances.

There are different BLIS ingredients available, including K12 and M18. A spokesperson for Stratum Nutrition, which distributes the probiotics in the US, previously explained​ that the primary difference between K12 and M18 are the health function or indications.  “While both BLIS probiotic strains start to work in the mouth – K12 supports ENT/immune health and M18 supports dental health,”​ said the spokesperson.

BLIS M18 works through multiple mechanisms to inhibit the growth of bacteria such as S. mutans​, said the company, which is involved in the development of dental caries.

Study details

Di Pierro and his co-workers recruited 76 children aged between 6 and 17 at a high-risk for dental caries, according to results of Cariogram, a software program that aids clinicians in performing consistent dental caries risk assessments. The children were randomly assigned to receive either slowly dissolving oral tablets in a product called Carioblis containing no fewer than 1 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of BLIS M18 per tablet, or no intervention at all (control group).

Ninety days of intervention led to a statistically significant 30% reduction in the global Cariogram outcome, reported the researchers, with a 50% reduction in the amount of dental plaque and a 75% reduction in mutans streptococci.

Commenting on the study, Dr Joseph Evans, 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.”

Source: Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry
Volume 7, Pages 107-113, doi: 10.2147/CCIDE.S93066
“Cariogram outcome after 90 days of oral treatment with ​Streptococcus salivarius M18 in children at high risk for dental caries: results of a randomized, controlled study”
Authors: F. Di Pierro, A. Zanvit, P. Nobili, P. Risso, C. Fornaini

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