Effect of Maltitol on Growth and Adhesion of Two Caries-Associated Streptococcal Species
The Science Behind

Effect of Maltitol on Growth and Adhesion of Two Caries-Associated Streptococcal Species

 

Authors

Authors

  • Desailly F. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France
  • Rodriguez B. - formerly wih Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France
  • Thabuis C. - Roquette Frères, Lestrem, France

 

In the present study, the precise impact of maltitol (on growth or adhesion) on oral bacteria strains that are known to be involved in dental caries development was investigated.

Introduction

Dental plaque is one of the three prerequisites for a caries lesion to develop. It is a biofilm that adheres to teeth and consists of bacterial cells, bacterial wastes, salivary polymers, and other extracellular products. When plaque builds up, bacteria situated in the  biofilm area nearest to the tooth surface begin to ferment carbohydrates, producing demineralizing acids. Moreover, let’s suppose a thick layer of plaque builds up on tooth enamel. In that case, the saliva is unable to penetrate the plaque to protect teeth through neutralization of acids or remineralization of the tooth surface.

Recently, clinical data have shown that maltitol in sugar-free chewing gum may reduce dental plaque and prevent gum bleeding in a gingivitis model.1,2 One hypothesis that could explain this observation is the impact of maltitol on the dental plaque bacteria.

The aim of this in vitro study was to assess the impact of maltitol on the growth and adhesion of several caries-associated streptococci strains.

In vitro experimental design

Bacterial strains

  • Streptococcus mutans ATCC25175 (SM)
  • Streptococcus sobrinus ATCC33478 (SS)

Four experimental conditions

  • BHI (negative control)
  • BHI + dextrose (positive control - 5 and 10% w/w)
  • BHI + 5% SweetPearl® maltitol (w/w)
  • BHI + 10% SweetPearl® maltitol (w/w)

Culture conditions

  • Brain heart infusion (BHI)
  • 37°C – Aerobic conditions – in glass tubes or 96-well plates

 

 

Results and Discussion

Impact on bacterial growth:

  • Maltitol slowed down S. mutans (data not shown) and S. sobrinus growth in a dose-dependent manner in vitro (example in fig. 1)
  • Maximum effect displayed at 10% dose (w/w)
  • No longer impact after 48h of culture

Impact on adhesion:

  • 10% maltitol decreased the production of exopolysaccharides from S. sobrinus by 84%, while it was increased in the positive control (fig. 2).
  • This effect was still observed while no significant impact on the strain growth was displayed after 48h of culture.
  • No impact on S. mutans adhesion was observed under these experimental conditions (data not shown).

Following these in vitro observations, we may hypothesize that previous clinical observations reflecting benefits of maltitol consumption in oral health prevention1,2,3 may be linked to maltitol impact on the integrity of the dental biofilm. Further works need to be done to explore this track.

Conclusion

The bulk sweetener SweetPearl® maltitol displayed an interesting impact in vitro on a strain of Streptococcus sobrinus, a representative of early dental plaque colonizer and caries-associated, with a reduction of its capability to produce exopolysaccharides and finally its capability of adhesion. This effect was observed while no impact on the strain growth was observed. This may explain the preventive benefits of maltitol on oral health observed in previous clinical trials. Therefore, sugar-free confectionery sweetened with maltitol may be of interest in the addition of usual preventive oral health recommendations.

References

1. Keukenmeester et al., 2014, International Journal of Dental Hygiene.
2. Thabuis et al., 2014, European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry.
3. Rodriguez et al., 2013, 10th World Congress on Preventive Dentistry - CED-IADR – Budapest. * SWP: SweetPearl® maltitol, Roquette.

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