In more ways than one, your health starts at your mouth.
The first stage in breaking down food involves crushing and grinding by your jaws and the use of saliva excreted from the salivary glands. This initial stage helps your body to start breaking down your food and, as a byproduct, food particles are lodged in your mouth.
Bad breath can result from a multitude of ways, but a common source is from food particles left after eating a meal. Bacteria attack the food particles left in your mouth, emitting volatile sulphur compounds, which is the source of bad breath for many. The buildup of bacteria in your mouth also contributes to an increased risk of infection. The cause of morning breath can also be attributed to the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth overnight, as your mouth produces less saliva to wash the bacteria away from your mouth into the rest of your digestive tract.
Chewing gum offers the benefits of increased oral hygiene and a fresher breath (and also minor exercise) simply by chewing. It is a great way to reduce bad breath, as the motion in your jaw stimulates the production of saliva to rinse away food particles and the bacteria that causes odor. Usually chewing gum is a short-term solution to fight bad breath – a suitable solution after a pungent meal or after you wake up. However, bad breath is rarely a one-time occurrence.
Prairie Naturals, a Canadian health supplement company, has recently attained the first Health Canada approval for probiotic gum – a new way to give your body a boost of good bacteria and reduce the odor from your breath. The gum targets the source of bad breath by introducing probiotics – friendly bacteria that combat bad bacteria, which can lead to bad breath and infection. Probiotics are good bacteria that can destroy harmful bacteria and dampen the potentially damaging effects when the immune system is activated. These beneficial microorganisms can help boost your immune system, improve digestive function and heal inflammatory bowel conditions.
Contained within the gum are strains of probiotics that help secure your first line of defense in your mouth. Dr John Tagg, a microbiologist from the University of Otago, collaborated with researchers at the University of British Columbia to include live bacteria in the gum that helps fight the oral germs behind bad breath, strep throat, sinusitis and earaches . One of the strains included is the Streptococcus salivarius bacteria and research suggests that this bacteria can kill other pathogenic strains that cause throat infections, ear aches, and bad breath.
“Our body has the ability to discriminate against pathogens and the normal flora,” Hancock, Canada research chair and UBC professor said. “Streptococcus salivarius is part of our normal bacteria that occupy the oral cavity.”
Tagg states that the probiotic organisms go to work as soon as the gum is chewed. Prairie Natural’s probiotic gum fights bad breath on two fronts, the immediate bad breath and the source bacteria. This newly approved probiotic gum has been in the market for some time and now that it has received Health Canada’s approval, the popularity of the gum is sure to rise even further.
 Fayerman, Pamela. Vancouver Sun. Retrieved from: http://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/health-canada-grants-b-c-company-licensing-approval-to-tout-benefits-of-probiotic-loaded-chewing-gum