Written By: Bonnie Feldman, DDS, MBA, Anthony Tung, Ellen M. Martin
The holiday season is right around the corner, and it’s safe to say that Mariah Carey will once again be making her annual comeback to every radio station. But while it may be tempting to say “all I want for Christmas is you,” we here at Your Autoimmunity Connection would much rather say “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” (yes, you rank lower on our wishlist than our teeth do).
If you’re like us and you think nice, healthy teeth would be a great gift, then Dr. David Drake has just the thing for you. With his impressive beard and jolly smile, Dr. Drake could be Santa Claus–if Santa were also a professor of microbiology at the College of Dentistry, University of Iowa.
Before we learn more about the Santa Claus of dentistry, let’s first talk about the number one item on Santa’s naughty list: bad breath. As you may already know, an imbalanced oral-microbiome can lead to a variety of different health concerns, and a stinky smile is definitely one of the more noticeable ones. Although no single microorganism is responsible for bad breath, there are several species of bacteria that produce hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans: the primary culprits behind halitosis (1). While your conventional solution to getting rid of odor-causing bacteria may have been a nice swish of mouthwash, current studies suggest that this practice is not beneficial to your health in the long run (2); alcoholic mouthwash kills the healthy, helpful bacteria in your mouth as well, causing dysbiosis in your oral microbiome and giving room for different problems, like diabetes, to arise.
Santa Tell Me…
So what can we do? Fortunately, Dr. Drake (in all his Santa-Claus-y goodness) has the perfect fix to prepare your mouth for the mistletoe. With his extensive background in microbiology, Dr. Drake realized that the solution to bad breath is not wiping out all the bacteria in your mouth–in fact, it may be the exact opposite. With this in mind, he along with three other science-minded individuals founded Oralta: a new company producing probiotic mints that help support a healthy oral microbiome.
What is it that makes Oralta different from other mints? Like we mentioned previously, Oralta is a probiotic mint, meaning that it is loaded with different types of beneficial bacteria. Drawing on their vast wealth of expertise and the scientific literature, the founders of this magic mint identified five strains of bacteria that have been shown to combat bad breath. These five strains of bacteria are the primary active ingredients in Oralta–and we’ve been told they work wonders.
The team at Oralta conducted an in-house case study to see how supplementing these five strains affects the oral microbiome, and they found a significant decrease in the population of bacteria that produce hydrogen sulphide and mercaptans. This not only leads to more long-term improved breath, but also a healthier microbiome in general.
So What’s Next?
Oralta hopes to expand their services to include metagenomic sequencing. The plan is to take saliva samples from clients and determine the composition of their unique oral microbiomes. This allows users a more personalized approach to balanced oral bacteria.
What we’re trying to say is: Oralta is game-changing, and we think it’d be a good idea to check them out.
There are several things that could dampen the cheer of the holiday season, but there’s no reason to let bad breath be one of them. So take the advice of the Santa-of-dentistry and try out Oralta. We promise you it’ll keep your smile smelling sweet for that magical mistletoe moment.
- Attia, E.L., Marshall, K.G. “Halitosis.” CMA Journal, vol 126(11), 1st Jun. 1982, pp. 1281-1285
- Kaumudi, J.J., et al. “Over-the-counter mouthwash use and risk of pre-diabetes/diabetes.” Nitric Oxide vol 71, 1st Dec. 2017, pp. 14-20