Effects of sucking acidic candy on whole-mouth saliva composition

Caries Res. 2005 Nov-Dec;39(6):468-74. doi: 10.1159/000088181.


Limited information is available on the effects of sucking acidic candies on saliva composition and the protective role of saliva in this relation. Therefore the aim of this study was to determine salivary effects of sucking acidic candies in vivo in relation to individual variations in whole-saliva flow rate (WSFR) and buffer capacity (WSbeta). Ten healthy young males (24 +/- 2 years) sucked a rhubarb-flavoured acidic hard-boiled candy with tartaric acid available on the Danish market. The whole saliva was collected into a closed system, regarding CO2, at different times as follows: firstly, unstimulated saliva for 5 min (baseline), secondly stimulated saliva for 4 min upon sucking the candy, and finally post-stimulated saliva for 10 min. Saliva pH was determined on a blood gas analyser and WSbeta was estimated from the saliva bicarbonate concentration obtained by the analyser and by ionic balance calculation. The erosive potential of the candy in saliva was estimated from the saliva pH values and degree of saturation with respect to hydroxyapatite (DS(HAp)). The results showed that saliva pH dropped from 6.5 (baseline) down to 4.5 at the fourth minute of sucking the candy, and returned to pH 6.5 five minutes after stimulation (post-stimulated). DS(HAp) decreased upon sucking the candy and saliva from all subjects became undersaturated with respect to HAp. Significant positive correlations were obtained between pH and WSFR (r(s) = 0.47; p < 0.05) and between pH and WSbeta (r(s) = 0.65; p < 0.01). In relation to WSbeta we found that 70% of the buffer capacity originating from the bicarbonate buffer system upon sucking the candy was exerted as phase buffering. We conclude that sucking this type of acidic candies changes whole-mouth saliva composition so that it may have erosive potential and that high WSFR and WSbeta have protective effects against these salivary changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acids / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Biocompatible Materials / analysis
  • Buffers
  • Candy / adverse effects*
  • Chewing Gum / adverse effects
  • Durapatite / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration / drug effects
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Salivation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Sucking Behavior
  • Tooth Erosion / chemically induced


  • Acids
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Buffers
  • Chewing Gum
  • Durapatite