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An analysis of concentration of sucrose, endogenous pH, and alteration in the plaque pH on consumption of commonly used liquid pediatric medicines

Keywords: Dental caries , hidden sugars , pediatric drugs

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Background: Many parents are often unaware of the hidden, added sugars in many foods and drinks including pediatric liquid medicines; thus, hidden sugar in the form of pediatric medications has not been focused upon as cariogenic agents. Objective: (i) assess concentration of sucrose in six pediatric drugs, (ii) determine endogenous pH of these drugs, and (iii) estimate drop in the plaque pH in the oral cavity in first 30 minutes after consumption of the drugs. Materials and Methods: Ten adult volunteers with mean age of 22 years were double blinded for the study. Concentration of sucrose was assessed by volumetric method at Department of Chemical Branch of Engineering. Endogenous pH and drop in the plaque pH after consumption of the drugs were assessed using digital pH meter. Statistical analysis: SPSS software was used to assess the pH level at different time intervals and expressed as mean ± SD. Changes in pH were assessed by one-way ANOVA followed by Wilcoxons signed rank test. P-value was set at 0.05. Result: There were varying amounts of fermentable sucrose detected in the drugs; all the drugs were acidic. There is a significant drop of plaque pH after consumption of the drug. Conclusion: These sweeteners along with their low endogenic pH form a high cariogenic formulation. Thus, nonsucrose (noncariogenic) or sugar-free medications are needed to be prescribed along with proper oral hygiene care to the children under medication.


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