Salivary Viscosity in Relation to Oral Health Status among a Group of 20-22 Years Old Dental Students


ABSTRACTBackground: Elevated salivary viscosity increases the risk for dental caries and periodontal diseases. The aim of this study was to disclose the relationship between salivary viscosity and dental caries as well as gingival disease severity among a group of 20-22 years old dental students. Materials and methods: Forty five dental students of both gender aged 20-22 years at College of Dentistry, University of Baghdad took part in this study. Stimulated salivary samples were collected then taken to the laboratory for measuring salivary viscosity at the Poisoning Consultation/Surgical Specialty Hospital. Dental caries was recorded by lesion severity according to Decayed, Missing and Filled (D1-4 MFS) Index (Mühlemman, 1976). Plaque index PlI (Silness and Löe, 1964) was used for measuring dental plaque thickness while gingival index GI (Löe and Silness, 1963) was used for diagnosis of the gingival disease. SPSS version 18 was used for statistical analysis.Results: Salivary viscosity showed weak non significant correlation with caries experience (P>0.05). However, according to dental caries severity students with severe dental caries recorded higher salivary viscosity than those with moderate caries severity with significant difference in case of DS fraction (m.d.= -0.01, P< 0.05). However, according to DMFS statistical difference was close to the confidence limit (P=0.07). No significant correlation could be found between salivary viscosity and gingival inflammation (P> 0.05). Also regarding severity of gingivitis no significant difference in salivary viscosity was recorded between those with mild and those with moderate gingivitis (P> 0.05). Conclusions: It is recommended that measuring salivary viscosity to be a part of routine dental diagnosis when treating patient with higher dental caries risk. However, further studies are needed to disclose the effect of increased salivary viscosity on gingival health with larger sample size. Keywords: Salivary viscosity, dental caries, gingivitis.