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Caries Res. 1995;29(1):54-61.

Effects of sugar restriction on Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus in saliva and dental plaque.

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Department of Cariology, Faculty of Odontology, Göteborg University, Sweden.


The effect of sugar restriction on the oral levels of mutans streptococci was studied in 20 subjects fulfilling three criteria: (1) having more than 300,000 CFU mutans streptococci/ml saliva, (2) harbouring both Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus in saliva, and (3) eating sugar frequently. The subjects were randomly divided into a test group (n = 12), who were asked to refrain from using sugar-containing foods between meals and to reduce sugar in main meals for 6 weeks, and a control group (n = 8), who did not receive any dietary advice. Saliva and plaque samples were collected at baseline and at 3, 6 and 12 weeks. The results showed that the levels of S. mutans and S. sobrinus decreased in saliva and plaque during the 6-week sugar restriction period. The decrese in mutans streptococci was more pronounced on buccal than on approximal tooth surfaces. Both species seemed to react in a similar way to the sugar restriction in saliva as well as in dental plaque. At the follow-up examination at 12 weeks, i.e. 6 weeks after completing the sugar restriction period, the numbers of S. mutans and S. sobrinus had increased again, but were still lower when compared to the baseline values.

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