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J Dent Res. 1985 Jan;64(1):37-43.

The effect of malnutrition on caries development and saliva composition in the rat.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect in rats of malnutrition on caries development and on some antibacterial substances in saliva. By gastric intubation, two groups of ten rats each were fed a liquid basic diet (100% diet), and two similar groups were fed the basic diet diluted with an equal volume of water to contain 50% of the nutrients of the basic diet (50% diet). One group on undiluted and one group on the diluted basic diet were offered sucrose as a supplement by mouth 17 times daily, using a programmed feeding machine, and the other two groups were offered starch in a similar manner. The extent and depth of the caries lesions were five times greater in the low-nourished (50% diet) sucrose group in comparison with the group given the undiluted diet supplemented with sucrose. The 50% diet group ate more frequently from the offered supplement. The 50% diet induced lower salivary lactoperoxidase activities, and there was an additive effect of starch as supplement. Higher concentrations of sIgA were found in the saliva of animals fed the 50% diet supplemented with sucrose than in those fed sucrose and the 100% diet. Significantly greater levels of sIgA and IgG were found in the saliva from the 50% diet-sucrose group than in the 50% diet-starch group. Plaque scores differed slightly but not significantly between the groups. The starch group receiving 100% diet showed a slightly lower level of S. mutans infection as compared with the 50% diet-starch group; the caries scores in the starch groups did not differ.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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