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A sweet remedy? New dental lozenges aim to tackle dental caries

UHA dentaclear lozenges aim to prevent dental caries. (Image: Screenshot/uha-l8020.jp)

Wed. 5. July 2017

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OSAKA, Japan: Osaka-based confectionary company UHA Mikakuto has introduced flavoured pastilles claimed to be helpful in maintaining a healthy oral flora.

According to the company, its UHA dentaclear sweets contain a strain of lactic acid bacteria that is believed to effectively suppress the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth and hence reduce the risk of dental caries.

The lozenges are available in yogurt or clear mint flavour and have been available from Japanese chemists and convenience stores since June. According to UHA Mikakuto, the incidence of caries and other oral diseases can be reduced by sucking the sweets after meals.

In addition to strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus L8020, the pastilles contain various sweeteners, including 0.85 g of xylitol per lozenge. Xylitol has been shown to have caries-preventive qualities, mainly because most plaque bacteria lack the ability to ferment xylitol into cariogenic end-products. Other ingredients include crystalline cellulose, fine silicon dioxide and green tea extract.

UHA Mikakuto jointly developed the product with Prof. Hiroki Nikawa from the School of Oral Health Science at Hiroshima University and trading company Mitsui & Co. The idea of using the beneficial properties of L. rhamnosus L8020 to enhance oral health arose after Nikawa discovered the increased presence of the bacterial strain in research on patients with resistance to caries.

The lozenges have a recommended retail price of JPY198 (US$1.75) per 13 g bag. Further information can be found on the Japanese product website at www.uha-l8020.jp.

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