Advertisement

The Effect of Honey on Human Tooth Enamel and Oral Bacteria

  • S. R. Grobler
  • N. J. Basson

Summary

Various fruit juices with relatively low pH values are known to have erosive effects on human tooth enamel in a reasonably short time (Grobler et al. 19891 Clin Prev Dent, 11:23–28; 12:5–8). Honey, however, with a relatively low pH, could do the same. The honey sample consisted mainly of nectar gathered from the blossoms of Eucalyptus trees. The honey used did not contain any artificial preservatives or dilutents, neither had it been heated by any artificial method. Sixteen human incisor crowns were ultimately ground wet using 1200-grade silicon carbide paper. Each surface was divided into five segments and each segment exposed to pure honey and diluted honey as well as to artificial honey for different periods of time. The enamel segments were then investigated for their hardness as well as for any etch pattern, by scanning electron microscopy. Scanning electron microscopy showed no erosion of enamel by natural honey over a period of thirty minutes neither did Knoop microhardness tests show any deterioration of the enamel structure even in a 4 times diluted honey solution. However, the theoretical solubility and ion product values can be linked to the results obtained by the SEM study for the undiluted as well as for the four times diluted artificial honey sample. The absence of any effect by pure honey could only be partially attributed to the normal building blocks of enamel, namely calcium, phosphorus and fluoride levels.

Seven different oral Streptococcus species, a Candida albicans strain and a Staphylococcus aureus strain were tested for antibacterial sensitivity towards the honey. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were determined with a broth dilution method. The MIC was the lowest concentration of the honey which yielded no growth.

The oral streptococci as well as the C. albicans strain were relatively resistant to Bluegum honey. However, the two species Streptococcus anginosus and Streptococcus oralis were inhibited at 17% and 12% respectively.

Keywords

Minimal Inhibitory Concentration Honey Sample Oral Bacterium Honey Solution Human Tooth Enamel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Grobler S.R., Senekal P.J.C. and Van Wyk Kotze T.J. (1989) The degree of enamel erosion by five different kinds of fruit. Clin. Prev. Dent. 11, 23–28.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Subrahmanyam M. (1991) Topical application of honey in treatment of burns. Br. J. Surg. 78, 497–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Anderson R.H., Buys B. and Johannsmeier M.F. (1983) Beekeeping in South Africa. 2nd edn, Bulletin No. 394, p. 144. Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Root AI. (1983) ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture. A.J. Root Publ. Co. Medina, Ohio.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grobler S.R. and Van der Horst G. (1982) Biochemical analysis of various cooldrinks with regard to enamel erosion, de-and remineralization. J. Dent. Assoc. South Africa 37, 681–684.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Grobler S.R., Jenkins G.N. and Kotze D. (1985) The effects of the composition and method of drinking of soft drinks on plaque pH. Br. Dent. J. 158, 293–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Grobler S.R., Senekal P.J.C. and Laubser J.A. (1990) In vitro demineralization by orange juice, apple juice, Pepsi Cola and Diet Pepsi Cola. Clin. Prev. Dent. 12, 5–8.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Silverstone L.M., Johnson N.W., Hardie J.M. and Williams R.A.D. (1981) Dental caries: Aetiology, pathology and prevention. MacMillan Press Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cavanagh, D, Beazley, J & Ostapowicz, F (1970) Radical operation for carcinoma of the vulva: a new approach to wound healing. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Common Wealth, 77, 1037–1040.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dold, H, Du, DH & Dziao, ST (1937) Nachweis antibakterieller, hitze—und lichtempfindlicher hemmungsstoffe (inhibine) im naturhonig (Blütenhonig). Zeitschrift für Hygiene und Infektions-Krankheiten, 120, 155–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibrahim A.S. (1981). Antibacterial action of honey. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Islamic Medicine. Kuwait: Minister of Health, 363–365.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jedder A., Kharsany A., Ramsaroop U.G., Bhamjee A., Haffejee I.E. and Moosa A. (1985) The antibacterial action of honey. An in vitro study. S. Afr. Med. J. 67, 257–258.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zumla A. and Lulat A. (1989) Honey a remedy rediscovered. J. Roy. Soc. Med. 82, 384–385.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grobler S.R., Du Toit I.J. and Basson N.J. (1994) The effect of honey on human tooth enamel in vitro observed by electron microscopy and microhardness measurements. Arch. Oral Biol. 39, 147–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ericsson H.M. and Sherris J.C. (1971) Antibiotic sensitivity testing. Report of an international collaborative study. Acta Path Microbiol Scand 79B, Suppl 217, 1–82.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Du Toit I.J., Grobler S.R., Van Wyk Kotze T.J. and Basson N.J. (1995) Fluoride, calcium and phosphorus levels in bee honey and water. S. Afr. J. Sci. 91, 391–392.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Driessens F.C.M. (1982) Mineral aspects of dentistry (Edited by Meyers H.M.) Vol. 10, p. 117. S. Karger, London.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Molan P.C. (1992) The antibacterial activity of honey. 1. The nature of the antibacterial activity. Bee Wold 73, 5–28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Grobler
    • 1
  • N. J. Basson
    • 1
  1. 1.Oral and Dental Research Institute Faculty of DentistryUniversity of StellenboschTygerbergSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations