Effect of Stress on the Composition and Flow Rate of Saliva


Aims: To assess the effect of acute psychological stress on some salivary glands functions. Materials and Methods: Twenty-three undergraduate dental students participated in this study. They were asked to provide two samples of unstimulated whole saliva for 5 minutes, the first sample before amid- year oral academic examination and subsequently the second, one month later in a non stressful situation (after holiday break) as control group. Salivary flow in one minute was determined, in addition, total protein, albumin, uric acid and calcium levels in saliva were assessed using determination kits method from Biolabo (France). Results: The results showed a significant stress mediated decrease in the sali-vary calcium concentration (0.230.21 mmol/L) by -78.50% in comparison with non stressful condi-tion. Salivary flow level (0.62  0.28 ml /min) and albumin concentration (16.3913.69 mg/100ml) were decreased by (- 4.62% and -37.30% respectively), while uric acid (1.671.13 mmol/L) and total protein concentrations (1.030.69 g/100ml) were elevated by 9.56% and 10.60% respectively. Not all these changes were statically significant. Conclusions: These results suggest that the acute psychologi-cal stress exerts its influence on salivary composition and this will increase the value of saliva as dy-namic biological fluid in controlling the oral health.