Coming soon: Pop a probiotics pill and fight oral cavities | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Coming soon: Pop a probiotics pill and fight oral cavities

In the near future, scientists could develop probiotics pills that we can pop to fight bad bacteria. Researchers in the US have found a bacterium that can keep bad bacteria in check.

health and fitness Updated: Mar 11, 2016 19:50 IST
Researchers have found that ‘A12 bacterium’ has a potent ability to battle a particularly harmful kind of streptococcal bacteria that helps form oral cavities.
Researchers have found that ‘A12 bacterium’ has a potent ability to battle a particularly harmful kind of streptococcal bacteria that helps form oral cavities.(Shutterstock)

Probiotics has come to the rescue of people with oral cavities. A team of researchers in the US has found a new bacterium that can help prevent cavities using probiotics and keep bad bacteria in check. As per the researchers, the findings could lead to the development of a supplement that can be consumed orally to prevent cavities.

A12 bacterium has a potent ability to battle a particularly harmful kind of streptococcal bacteria, which metabolises sugar into lactic acid, contributing to acidic conditions in the mouth that form cavities.

The researchers found that A12 not only helps neutralise acid by metabolising arginine in the mouth, it also often kills Streptococcus mutants.

“To maintain a healthy mouth, the oral environment must have a relatively neutral chemical make-up, or a neutral pH. When the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, dental cavities or other disorders can develop,” said Robert Burne from the University of Florida’s college of dentistry.

“At that point, bacteria on the teeth make acid and acid dissolves the teeth. It is straightforward chemistry,” Burne added in the paper published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Read: Debunking your oral myths

To maintain a healthy mouth, the oral environment must have a relatively neutral chemical make-up, or a neutral pH. When the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, dental cavities or other disorders can develop. (Shutterstock)

For the study, researchers collected plaque samples, isolating more than 2,000 bacteria and then screened them to find bacteria that fit the bill.

Dental plaque is a mass of bacteria that grows on the surface of teeth and can contribute to the formation of cavities.

Read: Brushing your teeth twice a day will also mean a healthier heart

The results showed that out of these, A12 stood out for having all of the properties in a bacteria strain that could prevent cavities in a probiotic application.

The researchers have sequenced the entire genome of A12 and plan to turn this discovery into a tool to screen for people who are at a higher risk for developing oral cavities.