Salivary vitamins and total proteins, in relation to cariesexperience and gingival health, according to nutritional status of a group of five-year old children

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Nada J. Radhi


salivary glands, which in turn influence susceptibility to dental caries and gingival disease. The aims of this study were
to assess the salivary antioxidants (vitamin A, C and E) levels as well as total protein and their relation to caries
severity and gingival health status among mal- and well-nourished children.
Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 60 children and they divided according to nutritional status (30
malnourished and 30 well nourished). The 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts was
used for assessment of nutritional status (height for age). The age was five years old. Caries severity (d1-4s) was
assessed according to Muhlemann (1976). Dental plaque recorded following the criteria described by Sillness and
Löe (1964). The gingival index (GI) was used according to Löe and Sillness criteria (1963). Stimulated whole saliva
samples were collected and chemically analyzed by using colorimetric method to determine the salivary
antioxidants (vitamin A, C and E) and total protein. All data were analyzed using SPSS version 18.
Results: Results recorded a higher mean value of dmfs among malnourished in comparison to well nourished with
statistically highly significant difference (P< 0.001). According to grades of lesion severity, d4 was significantly the
higher among malnourished children (P< 0.001). Strong highly significant correlations were noticed between ds, dmfs
and PI among malnourished and well nourished children. Significantly lower values of vitamins and total protein were
noticed among malnourished children compared to well nourished (P< 0.001). Negative highly significant
correlations were found with all vitamins among malnourished children regarding caries-experience and GI.
Conclusion: Childhood chronic malnutrition (stunting) is associated with salivary hypofunction. This may act as a risk
factor for dental caries and gingival disease in the target group.

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Orthodontics, Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry