RESEARCH ARTICLE


Acidogenic Potential of “Sugar-Free” Cough Drops



John A Mayo1, 2, #, *, John R Ritchie3
1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, School of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70119
2 Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70119
3 Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70119
# Present address: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7229 USA


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Creative Commons License
© Mayo and Ritchie; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, A322 Davison Life Sciences Complex, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7229 USA; Tel: +1-706-542-1713; Fax: +1-706-542-3719; E-mail: jmayo@uga.edu


Abstract

A patient presented with extensive marginal ditching around restorations recently placed during whole-mouth rehabilitation. The patient was not xerostomic and was otherwise normal except for the self-reported excessive use of “sugar-free” cough drops sweetened with sorbitol and Isomalt® (an equimolar mix of glucosyl-mannitol and glucosylsorbitol). This prompted an in vitro investigation to determine whether Streptococcus sobrinus 6715, a cariogenic streptococcus, could grow and produce acid in growth medium containing an aqueous extract of such “sugar-free” cough drops. The results indicate that S. sobrinus 6715 uses Isomalt® and sorbitol extensively, producing terminal culture pH as low as 4.2 when grown on medium with cough drop extract containing these sugars. This pH is sufficient to demineralize dental enamel. Patients should be cautioned against the chronic overuse of “sugar-free” cough drops and other “sugar-free” confections sweetened with a mixture of Isomalt® and sorbitol.