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Eur J Paediatr Dent. 2002 Dec;3(4):188-94.

Comparison of the cariogenicity of some processed cheeses.

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Department of Oral Sciences, University of Otago School of Dentistry, Dunedin, New Zealand.



Cheeses have been investigated for their potential cariogenicity in several studies and have been shown to produce little change in the resting pH in dental plaque and little or no demineralisation of enamel in most intra-oral cariogenicity studies. The aim of the present study was to investigate the cariogenicity of four processed cheese formulations.


Enamel demineralisation was measured intra-orally in bovine enamel, and aliquots of 10g of each test cheese were used to assess plaque pH using the plaque harvesting technique after the San Antonio criteria. In a second experiment, the same cheeses were assessed for their effects on enamel using the intra-oral cariogenicity test (ICT) with bovine enamel.


None of the four cheeses caused pH drops below the critical pH and two of the cheeses raised the pH slightly. The effects on pH were all significantly different from those of the sucrose saliva control. None of the cheeses produced microhardness changes that were statistically significantly different from the saliva control.


None of these cheeses as tested were found to lead to acidogenicity and by inference to be cariogenic. They were therefore deemed to be safe for teeth when used as a food.


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