The most common strain of this “bad” bacteria is called Mutans streptococci. However, the researchers say that in previous studies with rats, another bacteria called Lactobacillus paracasei has been shown to reduce levels of the cavity-causing bacteria, decreasing the number of cavities in the rodents.
The team, led by Christine Lang, believe that by binding with M. streptococci, the L. paracasei bacteria prevent this bad bacteria from reattaching to the teeth, causing it to get washed away by saliva.
Candy ‘significantly lowered’ bad oral bacteria levels
In a pilot trial involving 60 subjects, Lang and her team tested whether their sugar-free candy, which contained heat-killed samples of L. paracasei DSMZ16671, reduced levels of bad oral bacteria.
One-third of the subjects ate candies with 1 mg of L. paracasei, while another third ate candies with twice this amount (2 mg). The final third served as a control group and ate candies that were similar in taste but that contained no bacteria.
In total, all subjects ate five candies during the 1.5-day study. They were not allowed to perform any oral hygiene activities during this time, and they were also not allowed to consume coffee, tea, wine or probiotic foods.
Results showed that nearly 75% of the participants who ate candies with the good bacteria had “significantly lower” levels of Mutans streptococci in their saliva than before, compared with the control group.
Source: Medical News Today