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Probiotic oral care makes the leap into mainstream

By Simon Pitman , 16-Feb-2010

Probiotic oral care has made the leap into the mass market after one of the biggest players in the category prepares to supply to Walgreens.

Oragenics’ EvoraPlus brand will be stocked by mass market retailer Walgreens nationwide from next month, exposing the brand in over 7,000 stores throughout the US as well as the retailer’s online retail outlet.

EvoraPlus is in fact a mint, which means it straddles the beauty from within, oral care and confectionery markets, but thanks to its patented Probiora3 ingredient, its manufacturers say it can promote both healthier gums and teeth as part of an oral care program.

Tackles whitening and bad breath

It is also marketed as a natural product that has teeth whitening properties as well as being able to tackle bad breath.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans that change the sugars left in the mouth after snacks and meals into acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and lead to lesions or caries.

The Proboria3 has been formulated to help tackle this particular strain of bacteria, an approach that oral health care expert Professor Dr. Wim Teughels, believes could give it an advantage over other probiotic oral care brands on the market which have been developed to tackle lacto bacillus.

Targeting the right oral bacteria

Professor Teughels, who is from the Catholic University Leuven, in Belgium, told CosmeticsDesign.com USA that, while he believes further research into probiotic oral health care has to be carried out, he thinks the approach taken in the development of EvoraPlus could have potential.

“Evora Plus is innovative because its maker has recognized that streptococcus is the most dominant bacteria species in the oral cavity, therefore this might be the correct probiotic for oral health,” he said.

Until now the market for probiotic oral care has remained extremely niche, evinced by the fact that such products have only been available at smaller retail outlets in the US and online retailers.

Market remains small but competition is growing

EvoraPlus remains the dominant brand on the US market, although a number of other brands are being developed on a smaller scale. Likewise, in Europe the market for probiotic oral care is even smaller with just one significant player.

In April last year BASF and OrganoBalance announced the development of a probiotic ingredient for oral care products that they claim could help in the fight against dental caries.

According to the company, the new ingredient pro-t-action contains probiotic Lactobillus paracasei which binds to the caries-causing bacteria, grouping them together. It is expected to give rise to new oral care product launches during the course of this year.

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