sugar-free soda

John Gentile yjgent at
Fri Dec 22 23:02:08 EST 2000

It sounds like a simple question, but you miss the point a bit. The drink
itself is not bad for the teeth, as a matter of fact an argument can be made
that the high sugar content of regular soda (or pop or whatever name in your
neck of the woods) inhibits bacteria. Most bacteria can't tolerate high
concentrations of most sugars.

On the other hand once the soda is drank and the digestion starts some sugar
does remain and certain bacteria start to "feed" off it. Depending on the
species of the bacteria they will thrive or not depending if they are able
to metabolize the sugars present. Lactobacillus is one of the most common
mouth organisms that has been implicated in dental caries. Some species of
Lacto don't touch glucose, most like lactose. Does this imply that milk is
worse than soda as far as tooth decay is concerned?? I don't know. Any
dental specialists out there?

As far as the artificial sweeteners, my guess is that somewhere somehow some
bacteria will either have an enzyme or be able to develop an enzyme to
metabolize that stuff. Can those organisms cause tooth decay? Possibly if
they live in your mouth and like to attack teeth.

John Gentile                            Rhode Island Apple Group
yjgent at                         Past President, Publicity Chairman
 "I never make mistakes, I only have unexpected learning opportunities"

> From: "Gary G. Wilson" <ggw5 at>
> Organization: Columbia University
> Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
> Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2000 11:44:17 -0500
> Subject: sugar-free soda
> Do bacteria metabolise the artificial sugars used in diet sodas?  More
> spcifically, are diet sodas as bad for teeth as regular soda?
> Gary G Wilson

More information about the Microbio mailing list