Tiffany Figueroa

Major: Pre-Dental
University College
Supervisor: Dr. Richard L. Gregory
Department: Department of Biomedical Sciences and Comprehensive Care, IU School of Dentistry

Effect of Red Raspberries on S. mutans Biofilm

Streptococcus mutans is an oral bacterium commonly attributed to the formation of cavities on teeth. Red raspberries (RR) contain ellagic acid (EA) that is able to prevent bacterial growth. It is known that nicotine usage increases the formation of S. mutans biofilm, thereby causing an increase in cavities compared to a non-smoker. In low concentrations, nicotine increases S. mutans in oral and in vitro biofilms and decreases at high nicotine concentrations. The objective of this experiment was to determine if RR juice, EA and EA/nicotine affects S. mutans biofilm formation. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme leading to formation of lactic acid that is responsible for demineralizing enamel surfaces on the teeth. In order to verify the preventative effects of raspberry juice on S. mutans biofilm, the effect of RR on S. mutans LDH activity was determined. Observing the impacts of RR juice, EA, EA/ nicotine, and LDH will further the understanding of possible preventative treatments involving RR and EA that can be used on smokers to stop the enhancement of the formation of cavity causing bacteria.