The Effects of Artificial Sweeteners and Sugars on Bacterial Growth as it Relates to Dental Caries

The problem in this experiment was to determine the effect of artificial sweeteners and sugars on bacterial growth as it relates to dental caries. The bacterium that grows inside the mouth directly affects the chances of cavities occurring. Bacterial growth is determined by multiple factors such as food consumption, hygiene habits, and the amount of sugars in the food consumed. Consumers will want to know the sugars that produce the least amount of bacteria to decrease the chance of dental caries. The study was conducted using four different types of treatment: two artificial sweeteners (Spelnda and Sweet N Low) and two sugars (refined and unrefined). During each trial, the same amount of treatment was placed in each batch of agar and the same amount of diluted bacteria, in this case 1 mL, was placed on each petri dish and incubated for the same amount of time. After incubation, the number of bacteria colonies were counted. The results concluded that unrefined sugar produced the largest average number of colonies at 7260 colonies, followed by refined sugar at 6922 colonies, then Sweet N Low with 5025 colonies, and finally Splenda with an average of 4790 colonies. The conclusions can be supported by the p-value of about zero from an ANOVA test.

Research Conducted By:

Laura Benoit
Cousino High School

Zachary Mahalak
Cousino High School