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Clin Prev Dent. 1991 Jul-Aug;13(4):13-7.

The effect of a high consumption of citrus fruit and a mixture of other fruits on dental caries in man.

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The Oral and Dental Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Stellenbosch, Tugerberg, Republic of South Africa.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a high intake of citrus fruit or a collection of different varieties of fruit on the caries experience in farm workers. The number of subjects included was: for the citrus-producing group 120 (55 men), for the mixed variety group 95 (49 men) and 50 (25 men) for the grain-producing group (control group). Only farms where the drinking water fluoride concentration was less than 0.10 ppm were selected for the study. The mean daily intake of added sugars (excluding that from the specific fruits to be investigated), was the highest for the control group. The percentage frequency of toothbrushing of the three different groups was comparable and low. Significant differences (p less than 0.05) in the caries experience could be demonstrated between the two age categories (15-34 yr and 35+ yr) within any one of the three groups. Significant (p less than 0.0001) differences in the mean DMFT were found between the control group and each of the fruit-producing groups. No significant differences (p greater than 0.05) could be demonstrated between the two fruit-producing groups. However, the highest DMFT (24.8) was found in the citrus-producing group, with less in the mixed variety fruit group (22.7) and the least in the control group (9.9). The sequence of the order of magnitude of the components (D, M, F) of the DMFT was the same as that for the caries experience as such. It is concluded that a high consumption of various fruits over a long period is associated with a high caries experience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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