Cavities - A Silent Global Threat You Didn’t Know

You must have heard about cavities and dental caries ever since you were a little kid. Especially when all you wanted to eat was candy and other sweet treats. And then your parents insisted that you would brush your teeth, remember? Well, if you listened to them, you might have saved some painful trips to the dentist.

Everyone talks about the importance of brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day and flossing at least once per day, right? But do you really know what happens to your teeth if you skip your dental hygiene and consume too much sugar? The truth is, there is an ongoing pandemic nobody pays as much attention as they should, and it’s called “tooth decay”, an infection caused by cavities.

 What are dental caries?

 Cavities, also known as dental caries, can affect any person of any age and gender and severely damage the tooth enamel. The tooth enamel is the outer and visible part of the crown, which consists of 96% minerals and protects the teeth from chewing, grinding, and painful temperatures and substances.  Even though it is the hardest substance in our body, it can be degraded from the excessive consumption of sugar, acidic drinks, and plaque bacteria. So, when our dental hygiene is poor and we consume foods and drinks high on starch and sugar often, it is very likely to see some black spots on the surface of our teeth. These are essentially openings that allow the bacteria to penetrate further into the dentine and erode the deeper layers of the teeth, causing toothache, infections, and eventually tooth loss.

What are the symptoms?

The extension of the symptoms depends on the location and the damage caused by bacteria. How do you know when you have dental caries? In the very early stages, there might not be any visible spots or pain. When the cavity progresses, a small hole and discoloration will become apparent and possibly higher sensitivity to sugary treats and cold drinks or foods. If the cavity reaches deeper layers of the tooth, affecting the roots or nerves, then the typical giveaways are the bad taste in the mouth and spontaneous pain, sharp pain from hot drinks and foods, and from pressure. At that stage, the infection is widespread and a visit to the dentist is absolutely necessary to prevent the infection from advancing to the jaw bone, gums, or other teeth. Happily, Nordics has a robust combination of ingredients to prevent cavity formation and scrape away bacteria buildup in your mouth.

Can you be prone to cavities?

Based on a few clinical studies, teeth brushing and flossing are not the panacea to never getting cavities. Researchers claim that tooth decay has everything to do with sugar consumption because this is what the bacteria feed on and damage the teeth. On top of that, there is a link between genetics and tooth decay, which is still under scientific investigation. Experts have based this assumption on the fact that genes are responsible for the quality of teeth enamel. Since some people are born with softer enamel, they are more susceptible to tooth decay, even if their diet is not that high on sugar and their oral hygiene is good. Gene variations in the saliva can also play a role in how well the immune system responds to a bacteria overgrowth. Another condition that can cause gum diseases and tooth decay is dry mouth or xerostomia. One of the key roles of saliva production is to remove bacteria and food residue from the surface of the teeth, so the low saliva flow can cause bacteria accumulation.

Further health implications

Did you know tooth decay can lead to a number of serious health problems, including heart and brain infections? Any infection can cause a lot of damage if left untreated. But in the case of dental care, this can turn life-threatening really fast! Apart from gingivitis and periodontitis, which are diseases of the gums and bones, these are a few of the medical conditions caused by unattended cavities:


Respiratory issues. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people who have plaque buildup and extensive gum damage, breathe in the bacteria from the infected teeth and gums to their respiratory system. This can lead to respiratory tract complications, pneumonia, and other pulmonary infections, and hospitalization is required.

Heart problems. Similar to respiratory complications, the bacteria can be transferred to the bloodstream and the heart arteries. Especially people who suffer from periodontal diseases run a high risk of accumulating bacteria around the heart arteries, which can inhibit the proper blood flow. As for people who suffer from bleeding gums, this dental infection could trigger a heart condition, called endocarditis, which occurs due to bacteria present around the heart valves and can cause heart attacks.

Diabetes. Patients with this diagnosis are more likely to develop gum diseases as their immune system is weakened. At the same time, patients with severe gum diseases run the risk of developing diabetes due to blood-glucose imbalances and the production of harmful bacteria.

Brain diseases. Studies have revealed a correlation between gum infections and brain infections such as meningitis. This serious and life-threatening disease can result from an untreated and extended gum infection, where the bacteria of the infected area can travel to the membranes near the brain and spinal cord and cause severe swelling, sepsis, stroke, and paralysis.

How to prevent them

Even if genetics play a role in the quality of the teeth, it is of the utmost importance that we take care of our oral health. Tooth decay may be a complex disease, but it is easily preventable. It comes down to maintaining good oral hygiene and specifically brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day using fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. A healthier diet and lifestyle which limits sugary foods and drinks, fizzy drinks, carb-loaded snacks and smoking is also a preventive measure you can take to ensure less chance of getting dental caries.  Needless to say, regular dental checkups once or twice a year for meticulous examination and treatment are mandatory to keep the cavities at bay.


Nordics kids Probiotic toothpaste

Probiotics and their promising benefits to oral health

    What are probiotics? First, let’s define that. Probiotics are essentially microorganisms such as bacteria which are beneficial for you, especially for your digestive system. While bacteria are considered an enemy to the human body, there are a lot of harmless microorganisms whose presence can be highly beneficial to various functions in our organisms. It is estimated that there are 39-300 trillion bacteria existing in the human body, and the majority is linked to health benefits such as improved digestion, healthy skin, enhanced immune system, resulting in fewer chances of some diseases and weight loss.

 What are the types of probiotics? Most often, probiotics regard bacteria, but there are other types of microorganisms, such as yeasts that can be classified as probiotics. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most common and effective probiotic bacterial strains. They can be found in supplements and foods prepared by bacterial fermentation. Examples of probiotic foods are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, and kimchi. All bacteria contain various strains which address a different human function, so medical expert guidance is advised to ensure the safe consumption of the right probiotic for each individual.

 Probiotics in oral care products

Traditionally, studies regarding the health benefits of probiotics were exclusive to the digestive system. However, the scientific breakthroughs of the last decade have revealed that probiotics can improve oral health as well.

Nordics’ Innovation

True to our promise towards innovative dental care, Nordics recently introduced a new toothpaste with the first processed probiotic dedicated to oral care, called SymReboot™ OC by Symrise. It is a COSMOS-approved ingredient, chosen for its effectiveness to promote a healthy microbiome and consequently enhance oral health. Its revolutionary benefits include:

Maintaining the oral cavity's natural defenses and promotes healthy microflora.

Enhancing gum health and strengthening the oral cavity barrier.

Protecting against toxic microorganisms and soothes the gums.

Having the capacity to be applied to a variety of oral care products, notably toothpaste, mouthwash, gum care, and lozenges.

 Our brand new Nordics Kids toothpaste Strawberry Splash Probiotic contains SymReboot™ OC probiotic, Xylitol and is also fluoride-free, making it safe for our little friends. It’s suitable for kids of all ages and recommended for young kids with sensitive teeth or those who simply look for the best care possible for their oral health.

Oral care probiotics include living and healthy microorganisms, identical to the beneficial ones naturally existing in the oral cavity. Their presence there aims to restore a healthy balance of the microbiome and prevent the bacteria buildup, which is known to cause damage to the teeth and gums. Specifically, when the probiotics enter the oral cavity, they attach to the aggregate of the existing bacteria. Then, they stick on the surface of the teeth and penetrate the gingival sulcus, which is the meeting point of the teeth and the gums. Their role encompasses minimizing the risk of pathogens, exacerbated by high-sugar and processed foods, and preventing dental plaque formation, other dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, and further, severe health issues.

 According to studies, the benefits of probiotics in oral health include:

 1)    Cavity and plaque prevention. Among the various types of bacteria in the oral cavity, there are some which are harmful. For example, Streptococcus mutans is one of them because it turns sugar into lactic acid, creating the ideal environment for plaque and tooth decay formation. A study conducted in 2016 revealed that a specific strain of a “good” bacteria called A12 can hinder the development of S. mutans and effectively prevent plaque buildup.

2)    Halitosis or bad breath elimination. Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath due to the “bad” bacteria presence in the mouth and gut. It’s not considered a disease, but it is a discomfort which can reveal underlying dental infections and inflammations. Based on a study, the use of an antimicrobial mouthwash and supplements of the probiotic Streptococcus salivarius was 85% effective in reducing significantly the number of bacteria responsible for halitosis.

3) Oral disease treatment. The focus point of the first studies was the determination of the probiotics as an effective treatment in dental diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis. A specific strain from L. acidophilus successfully treated patients with various periodontal issues and this raised the interest for further research and examination of this particular bacteria type. Other probiotic strains have improved gum health by dramatically decreasing gum bleeding and inflammation. 

 The future of oral care probiotics

 The use of probiotics in dental care products has already shown great potential in maintaining excellent oral health. Oral probiotics can restore the balance of the beneficial bacteria in the mouth, which may diminish due to poor nutrition, bad habits like smoking, stress, medication, chronic illnesses, and other factors. Dental practitioners claim that the daily use of probiotic supplements or dental products, combined with routine prophylaxis and periodontal therapy, has the capacity to enhance the microbiome in your mouth.

The increasing trend towards preventive measures is fueled by both governments, in their effort to cut down healthcare costs, and consumers, in their desire to have more control over their health. Therefore, a lot of dental companies turn to new technology and innovative techniques to incorporate probiotic toothpaste, mouthwash, and other products for all ages and address consumers’ pain points such as sensitive teeth, irritated gums, and bad breath.