Title: Fluoride concentrations in saliva related to dental caries prevalence in primary teeth
Abstract: Previous studies have indicated that there may be a relationship between salivary fluoride concentrations and dental caries. In these previous studies the emphasis was on dental caries in permanent teeth. Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible relationship between the prevalence of dental caries in the primary dentition and the fluoride concentration in saliva in 8-year-old children. Design The study population consisted of 172 children aged 8 years living in the inner city area of Beeston of Leeds in the UK. Methods Each child was examined for dental caries and unstimulated whole mixed saliva was collected for 2 minutes in the morning at least 2 hours post-prandial. Saliva samples were transported to the laboratory for immediate analysis or frozen for later analysis. All saliva samples were analysed for fluoride concentration using an ion-specific electrode after acid diffusion. Results When the children were grouped according to their caries prevalence (dmfs 0, 1-5 and >5) and salivary fluoride levels (?0.05, 0.06-0.10 and >0.10 mg/L fluoride) a statistically significant relationship was found (c2 = 22.88, df = 4, p<0.001). Conclusion For the primary dentition children with zero caries were shown to have significantly (p<0.001, Chi2 analysis) higher salivary fluoride levels than caries prone children.