Title

The Effects Of Sugar Alcohols On Streptococcus Mutans In The Presence Of Sucrose

Author(s)

Karen Ni

School Name

The Center for Advanced Technical Studies

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Microbiology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Fluoride is beneficial to dental health but it can also cause problems such as fluorosis or an increased risk in bone fractures. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol or erythritol could be used instead as a fluoride substitute. However, it is uncertain how effective sugar alcohols will be in the presence of sucrose. They will most likely compete and take the place of sucrose in S. mutans, inhibiting its growth because S. mutans cannot metabolize the sugar alcohols. To test this hypothesis, the experiment was split into two parts. The first part has S. mutans being grown on six types of plates that have differing compositions: agar only, agar and sucrose only, agar and xylitol only, agar and erythritol only, agar, sucrose, and erythritol, and agar, sucrose, and xylitol. The results are expected to be: no presence of S. mutans in agar only, agar and xylitol, and agar and erythritol due to a lack of an energy source. The plates with agar, sucrose, and xylitol/erythritol will have less bacterial colonies due to the bacterial growth inhibition effects of sugar alcohols. Data will be analyzed by comparing the amount of colonies present and the size of said colonies to determine whether sugar alcohols are successful in inhibiting the growth of S. mutans. The second part will be using human teeth to see whether sugar alcohols are capable of inhibiting the bacteria’s ability to degrade teeth enamels. The teeth are autoclaved and weighed before exposing it to six types of solutions: bacterial broth only, bacterial broth and sucrose only, bacterial broth and xylitol only, bacterial broth and erythritol only, bacterial broth, sucrose, and erythritol, and bacterial broth, sucrose, and xylitol. After 24 hours, the teeth will be taken out, bleached and autoclaved before weighing it again to see if there was any inhibition on the activity of S. mutans. The teeth are expected to degrade when exposed to bacterial broth and sucrose but the sugar alcohols should be able to inhibit the bacteria so that less tooth mass is lost. These findings can help to show that there are possible healthier substitutes and decrease human reliance on fluoride, improving bone formation in heavily fluoridated areas such as India or Ethiopia. Future work could be done to see whether S. mutans can develop a resistance to sugar alcohols, allowing them to utilize xylitol or erythritol for energy.

Start Date

4-11-2015 9:15 AM

End Date

4-11-2015 9:30 AM

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 9:15 AM Apr 11th, 9:30 AM

The Effects Of Sugar Alcohols On Streptococcus Mutans In The Presence Of Sucrose

Fluoride is beneficial to dental health but it can also cause problems such as fluorosis or an increased risk in bone fractures. Sugar alcohols such as xylitol or erythritol could be used instead as a fluoride substitute. However, it is uncertain how effective sugar alcohols will be in the presence of sucrose. They will most likely compete and take the place of sucrose in S. mutans, inhibiting its growth because S. mutans cannot metabolize the sugar alcohols. To test this hypothesis, the experiment was split into two parts. The first part has S. mutans being grown on six types of plates that have differing compositions: agar only, agar and sucrose only, agar and xylitol only, agar and erythritol only, agar, sucrose, and erythritol, and agar, sucrose, and xylitol. The results are expected to be: no presence of S. mutans in agar only, agar and xylitol, and agar and erythritol due to a lack of an energy source. The plates with agar, sucrose, and xylitol/erythritol will have less bacterial colonies due to the bacterial growth inhibition effects of sugar alcohols. Data will be analyzed by comparing the amount of colonies present and the size of said colonies to determine whether sugar alcohols are successful in inhibiting the growth of S. mutans. The second part will be using human teeth to see whether sugar alcohols are capable of inhibiting the bacteria’s ability to degrade teeth enamels. The teeth are autoclaved and weighed before exposing it to six types of solutions: bacterial broth only, bacterial broth and sucrose only, bacterial broth and xylitol only, bacterial broth and erythritol only, bacterial broth, sucrose, and erythritol, and bacterial broth, sucrose, and xylitol. After 24 hours, the teeth will be taken out, bleached and autoclaved before weighing it again to see if there was any inhibition on the activity of S. mutans. The teeth are expected to degrade when exposed to bacterial broth and sucrose but the sugar alcohols should be able to inhibit the bacteria so that less tooth mass is lost. These findings can help to show that there are possible healthier substitutes and decrease human reliance on fluoride, improving bone formation in heavily fluoridated areas such as India or Ethiopia. Future work could be done to see whether S. mutans can develop a resistance to sugar alcohols, allowing them to utilize xylitol or erythritol for energy.