Title: Correlation between un-stimulated salivary flow, pH and streptococcus mutans, analysed with real time PCR, in caries-free and caries-active children
Abstract: Aim Evaluate the correlations between un-stimulated salivary flow, pH and level of S. mutans, analysed through real time PCR, in caries-free and caries-active children.
Materials and methods Thirty healthy children were divided into 2 groups: test group (DMFT/dmft ≥3 and at least 1 active caries lesion) and control group (DMFT/dmft=0). Un-stimulated saliva was collected, pH was measured and S. mutans and total bacterial amount were evaluated with real-time PCR analysis.
Results Un-stimulated salivary flow in the test group was significantly lower (p = 0.0269) compared to group control. The level of S. mutans was higher in the test group (p = 0.176), and an inverse correlation was recorded between total bacterial amount and un-stimulated salivary flow (p = 0.063). In the control group a positive relationship was found between total bacterial amount and S. mutans (p = 0.045) and an inverse correlation between pH and S. mutans (p = 0.088). A t-test and a linear regression analysis were performed.
Conclusion A higher salivary flow and an increased salivary pH seem to represent protective factors against caries in children, while high levels of S. mutans are correlated with caries active lesions. Caries risk assessment should be performed considering all parameters involved in the development of the disease