Abstract: Aim The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the physicochemical properties of saliva, such as salivary flow rate, volume, pH and buffer capacity and the levels of salivary sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphate ions in caries-free and caries-active children.
Materials and methods The present study included 100 healthy children aged 7-12 years belonging to a rural population from Thiruvallur district (in Chennai, India), who were divided into Group I caries-free and Group I caries-active children, of 50 children each. Unstimulated saliva was collected by draining method and flow rate and volume were determined. The samples were then analysed for pH and buffering capacity using a manual pH meter. Sodium, potassium, and calcium concentration were analysed by Flame Photometer. Phosphates were analysed by Fiske and Subbarow’s colorimetric method. Data were then statistically analysed using the Student’s t-test (unpaired).
Results The results revealed that when all these parameters were compared among the caries-free and caries-active children, the flow rate, volume, pH and buffering capacity were slightly reduced in the caries-active group and this was statistically significant, whereas the calcium, potassium and sodium concentrations were increased in the caries-free group in a statistically significant manner.
Conclusion Within the limitation of this study, we can conclude that alterations in the physicochemical properties of saliva such as increased salivary flow rate, volume, calcium, sodium and potassium concentrations play a major role in the development of resistance to caries.