Oral Probiotics Review - Probiora3/EvoraPlus, GanedenBC30 & Prodentis

My gums were fantastic until my thirties. Since then, no matter how much TLC I give them, they are easily the fussiest part of my body. I brush religiously, avoid sugary foods, and floss like there's no tomorrow—to no avail. My gums always tend to be more reddish and touchy than I'd like them to be. And since it's more than a matter of cosmetics or comfort—healthy gums mean better health overall—I take gum care really seriously.

I've known about probiotics for quite some time, having worked at Unilever's research unit on functional foods, and also as a lifelong yogurt lover. I was surprised to discover just a few years ago that several companies have released probiotics for the mouth. These probiotics install beneficial oral bacteria to displace the harmful Streptococcus mutans and other bacteria that lead to tooth decay (cavities), gingivitis, and other forms of periodontal disease. Some companies even claim that if you use their products, your teeth will also be whiter.

Intrigued, I promptly bought 3 of the most popular products:

  • GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086), in Life Extension's Advanced Oral Hygiene tablets
  • Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis, in GUM's PerioBalance tablets
  • Probiora3 (Streptococcus oralis KJ3, Streptococcus uberis KJ2, and Streptococcus rattus JH145), in Oragenics's Evora Plus

I had already planned to see my dentist just about every month to fix some cavities I had, so I asked her if my gums appeared any different at each visit. I would use each product for 30 days, and allow a 7-10 day washout period between them to allow my oral flora to return to its natural state. Seemed like a decent protocol to me!

Life Extension Florassist Oral Hygiene 30 Lozenges
Life Extension Florassist Oral Hygiene 30 Lozenges

I paid $15 for this bottle containing 60 lozenges, so it costs about a quarter per day.

 

Test 1: GanEdenBC30 (Life Extension's Advanced Oral Hygiene)

This oral probiotic is cleverly named: Gan Eden means the Garden of Eden in Hebrew. I can only assume that, with the exception of the snake, there were no pests there, least of all oral bacteria that lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, and bad breath.

These lozenges are small, hard, and both bitter and sweet; they're sweetened with stevia, an herbal sweetener that has both sweet and bitter notes. The bottle says they're cherry-flavored but I didn't detect a fruity flavor. But, no matter. They taste fine, and since they're hard, they take at least 10 minutes to dissolve in my mouth. That gives it plenty of time for the bacteria to adhere to my teeth, gum tissues, and tongue before being washed away by saliva.

After using these "mints" for a month, I thought I noticed that my gums were a bit healthier. They started to feel more cool, less inflamed, and a bit more pink and firm, but naturally I turned to a professional, who hadn't seen my gums in over a month, for her expert opinion:

"Have you noticed any difference in my gums?"

"Yes. I don't know if you can, but we can tell a difference," said my dentist.

"Really? How do they look compared to before?"

"They seem firm and pinker, less reddish and spongy. They look healthier."

I told her that I had been using an oral probiotic and would be checking with her every month or so. She said she would pay attention (she's sharp).

I also noticed that the effect of the lozenges lasted several days after I stopped taking them. It took a half-week for my gums to return to their previous, easily inflamed state.

Another side benefit: GanedenBC30 is also active in the digestive system, providing regularity and support for the immune system. Normally, bacteria in your mouth do not survive the highly acidic environment of your stomach, but apparently this does. I have to say that I did notice a regularity benefit, one that I did not experience with the other two oral probiotics I tested.

Test 2: Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis (GUM PerioBalance)

In month 2, I switched to GUM's PerioBalance tablets, which are significantly larger than the tiny GanEden30 ones. They're also very hard, so it takes a good 10 minutes to dissolve in the mouth. They're also sweet and minty, similar to a regular breath mint, although not nearly as strong as an Altoid. They're not sweetened with stevia, so they're not bitter.

I took these tablets primarily in the evening before going to bed, hoping that the bacteria in them would take over my mouth flora as I snoozed through the night.

I did not notice any major changes to the feeling in my mouth and gums, except that my gums were a bit more inflamed than they were with GanedenBC30 (but better than with nothing). But, to be safe, I asked my dentist.

"So how do my gums look?"

After poking and prodding for a minute, she replied, "Pretty much the same as last month."

So my self-assessment got some confirmation. Especially considering the cost and size of each of the lozenges, I was relatively unimpressed. The effect of the lozenges also only lasted a couple of days after I stopped using them.

Evoraplus Probiotics For Oral Care 60 Tabs
Evoraplus Probiotics For Oral Care 60 Tabs

These cost about 30 cents a pop when you buy them from Amazon, but I've also seen them at drugstores like Walgreens from time to time.

 

Test 3: Probiora3 (Oragenics's EvoraPlus)

The third and final tablet I took was EvoraPlus, which uses a proprietary mix of three orally-beneficial bacteria called Probiora3. The pill is hard and slightly minty - not as much as PerioBalance, but still noticeably minty. It dissolves over a period of about 10 minutes. (Incidentally, I tried EvoraPlus a few years ago, and it used to be a much smaller, much softer pill, that would dissolve in about a minute in the mouth. They've clearly reformulated to make a harder pill.)

EvoraPlus did a decent job on my gums, making them feel cooler and calmer. By morning, my gums were firm and pinkish. This was confirmed by my dentist: "They look pink and firm, healthy."

Unfortunately, if the bacteria in Probiora3 had any effect on my GI system, I certainly didn't notice it. I liked GanedenBC30's fringe benefit of making me regular. Maybe Probiora3 wasn't designed to do that, but it wasn't really any better at keeping my mouth healthy than GanedenBC30, either. The effects of EvoraPlus on my gum health disappeared within a couple of days, similar to GUM's PerioBalance.

My Ratings

Company
Life Extension
GUM
Oragenics
Product name
Advanced Oral Hygiene
PerioBalance
EvoraPlus
Probiotic species
GanedenBC30
Lactobacillus reuteri Prodentis
Probiora3
Count per bottle
60
30
60
Price per bottle
$15
$18
$18
Cost per lozenge
$0.25
$0.62
$0.30
Impact on gum health
A
B
A
Substantivity (how long effect lasts)
A-
B-
B-
Impact on GI regularity
B+
C
C
Taste
B
A-
B+
Overall score
A-
B-
B

My Conclusion

Even though they are slightly bitter from the stevia used to sweeten them, GanedenBC30 lozenges from Life Extension left me with the most positive impression of the three oral probiotics I tested. I enjoyed a substantive benefit to my gum health, one that both my dentist and I noticed, and it even helped me stay regular.

However, all three had a positive impact on my periodontal health, so I'd probably use any of them, even GUM's PerioBalance, over nothing at all. Keeping gums healthy is more than just a cosmetic concern: periodontal disease can even affect your cardiovascular health. Since taking an oral probiotic is pretty simple and even freshens your breath a bit, I think it's a habit worth continuing.

Have you ever used an oral probiotic?

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