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Prediction of dental caries experience with salivary variables

Type:  Articles

Pubblication date:  12/2001

Authors:  L. Fabiani*, G. Mosca**, D. Giannini**, M.C. Marci**, M. Larmas***

Language:  English

Institution:  *Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, **Department of Surgical Sciences and Clinical Odontostomatology, University of L’Aquila, Italy ***Department of Preventive Dentistry and Cariology, University of Oulu, Finland

Publication:  European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry

Publisher:  Ariesdue Srl

Keywords:  Saliva, Caries.

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Title:  Prediction of dental caries experience with salivary variables

Abstract:  Aim The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of some risk factors that could be modified or eliminated (that might be easily detected and corresponded to the aetiology) in the conduct program of health promotion; this prospective longitudinal study enrolled children attending the first years of a primary school in L’Aquila for a follow-up period of 37 months (from April 1996 to May 1999). Methods Dental examinations, using WHO examination criteria and indices [WHO, 1987], and saliva test to quantify the presence of cariogenic bacteria (Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus spp) were carried in schools. Statistical analysis was conducted on some qualitative/quantitative characteristics, such as its buffering capacity and flow after stimulation, recorded on a computer, and subsequently analysed using the Epi Info (version 6), Statgraphic and Stata statistical packages. Results Salivary variables were linked to the dfs/DMFS in the case of S. mutans (particularly in the first three saliva tests), whereas the results relating to Lactobacillus spp. were less constant over time. The data of the IV saliva test were excluded from the analysis because the entire population fell into the class of the exposed. Conclusion The saliva test was felt to be useful as a means of supporting oral hygiene education and establishing the need for treatment in patients with at least one carious lesion. In those children without caries, the positive predicted value capacity of the concentration of Streptococcus mutans seems to be satisfactory (71.43%) and capable of identifying those subjects at greater risk who should undergo more frequent dental examinations.

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