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Arch Oral Biol. 1997 May;42(5):377-83.

Effects of iron salts in sucrose on dental caries and plaque in rats.

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Department of Dental Research, Rochester Caries Research Center, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Anaemia caused by iron deficiency and dental caries are still among the most prevalent diseases in some developing countries. Anaemia can be prevented by iron fortification of food. Previous studies demonstrated that iron-sucrose, which has been used for prevention of anaemia, reduces the incidence of caries in rats. The aim of the present study was to compare the influence of ferrous sulphate and ferric glycerophosphate co-crystallized with sucrose on the incidence of dental caries in rats. Forty-eight desalivated rats were caged in a programmed feeder and received their essential nutrition by gavage. The animals were fed 17 meals per day at hourly intervals of 88 parts/10(6) Fe++ or Fe co-crystallized with sucrose. Plain sucrose and calcium glycerophosphate with sucrose were used as control groups. Both ferric- and ferrous-sucrose meals reduced the incidence of smooth-surface and sulcal caries in rats. Stain formation, organic acid production and acidogenic activity of dental plaque in animals receiving iron-sucrose meals were also investigated. Ferric glycerophosphate did not induce extrinsic staining on the tooth surface. The concentration of organic acids did not differ significantly among the groups. The acidogenic activity of plaque in animals receiving either of the iron-sucrose meals tended to be lower than that of the control groups. The possibility that iron-sucrose might reduce the prevalence of two major public health problems, dental caries and anaemia, makes this preventive approach extremely attractive for additional investigation.

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