In Vitro Effect of Streptococcus mutans Biofilm Produced in Sugar-Free Coca-Cola on Enamel

Yasmin Louzon*, Ido Vaknin, Amit Wolfoviz-Zilberman, Esi Sharon, Yael Houri-Haddad, Nurit Beyth

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: Sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola may expedite dental caries. For this reason, sugar-free drinks like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar (CZ) may be considered advantageous. This research aims to evaluate in vitro the CZ effect in the presence of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) biofilm on enamel demineralization. Methods: Ninety-six human enamel slabs (4 × 4 mm) were used. S. mutans UA-159 72-hour biofilm was created over enamel surfaces. The specimens were soaked in CZ, HCl, or 10% sucrose in PBS solution, 3 times a day for 15 minutes over the course of 4 days. Viable counts (CFU/mL) and biofilm biomass (Crystal Violet staining) were evaluated. pH was measured after each exposure. After 4 days, Demineralization was evaluated clinically and by Vickers microhardness tests. Slabs were photographed using a stereomicroscope before and after exposure to caries-promoting conditions. Results: Slabs that were soaked in CZ showed an increase in viable counts compared to control and almost similar counts with 10% sucrose in PBS solution exposures ([Formula presented.], respectivly). Biofilm biomass tests showed a 25% higher bacterial growth in the CZ group. CZ pH measures were the lowest and the only group to show a decrease in pH over time (pH ∼3). Enamel slabs that were evaluated clinically in the stereomicroscope postexposures had a chalky and matt appearance as opposed to their shiny appearance in the baseline evaluation. Conclusions: CZ creates a favourable environment for the growth of S. mutans. It may be suggested that even though CZ is sugar free it has a cariogenic effect on enamel. Clinical significance: Clinicians need to educate patients that sugar-free carbonated drinks may be just as harmful as regular carbonated drinks, and hence avoided. This research emphasizes the harmful effect sugar-free carbonated drinks on teeth and sheds new light on their cariogenic potential.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Dental Journal
    StateAccepted/In press - 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2024 The Authors


    • Carbonated drinks
    • Demineralization
    • Dental caries
    • Streptococcus mutans
    • Sugar free


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