Four groups of 12 Osborne-Mendel rats each were fed either sucrose or maltose in two different types of diets. Type 1 diets were nutritionally defined semipurifïed, dry powdered diets whereas type 2 diets included dried pulverized cake crumbs made from sucrose or maltose. Six rats from each group were killed after 6 weeks and the other 6 were killed after 11 weeks on the experiment. Teeth were scored for smooth surface and sulcal caries and evaluated for levels of microorganisms. In general, the number of carious units was similar for rats fed diets which contained either sucrose or maltose. However, when the type 1 diet was fed, there was a trend for rats fed maltose to have fewer smooth surface carious units than rats fed sucrose. Both smooth surface and sulcal carious units were significantly lower (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively) for rats fed type 2 than for rats fed type 1 diets. Streptococcus mutans colony-forming units were positively correlated with carious units (p < 0.01).

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