New cosmetic trend: probiotic toothpaste

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Looking for the newest trend in cosmetics? Probiotic toothpaste is next in line.

"I'm getting bombarded with literature about prebiotic and probiotic toothpaste and mouth washes," said dentist Mark Burhenne.

It's all part of a booming cosmetic dentistry market expected to reach more than $22 million by 2020.

People like Caty Cole have even started making their own probiotic toothpaste at home. "I really, really like it. It doesn't feel like such an assault on my mouth as regular toothpaste," said Cole.

But it doesn't stop at toothpaste. You can find prebiotic and probiotic rinses and tablets as well. Some of the products claim beneficial bacteria can help your mouth, teeth and gums.

"What happens in the mouth, happens in the body. There's this oral systemic connection that I think dentistry is just waking up to," said Burhenne.

Preliminary studies seem promising, but the consensus is that more research needs to be done. "We know that if you can keep the oral microbiome in good shape that's going to help downstream in the guts," said Burhenne.

Experts recommend a healthy diet, including probiotic-rich foods as the best way to find that bacterial balance.
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