The association between some salivary factors and dental caries in group of school children and adolescents in Erbil city

  • Shukria Mohammed AL-Zahawi Department of Basic Science, College of Dentistry, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq.
Keywords: Dental caries, salivary flow rate, pH, saliva, microorganisms, oral hygiene


Background and objectives: The protective function of saliva against dental caries achieved through its physico-chemical properties The purpose of this comparative study was to evaluate the relationship between some risk factors such as salivary flow rate, pH, oral hygiene (plaque index), buffering capacity, salivary level of lacto bacilli, streptococcus mutans and candida, with dental caries also aimed to determining which salivary factors correlate significantly to dental caries experience in children and adolescents.

Methods: In this study, salivary factors were measured in resting saliva. Resting saliva was collected to determine flow rate, pH, buffering capacity, microorganism level of lactobacilli, streptococcus mutans and candida of (400) healthy school student, (200) children (6-12) years and (200) adolescents (13-16) years in twenty schools in Erbil city of different socioeconomic status. Their teeth were examined to measure the caries experience using decay, missing, and filled teeth index (DMFT), and oral hygiene (plaque index) level using (Silness and Loe 1964) method.

Results: The mean DMFT in children was (5.35), while the mean DMFT in adolescents was (5.54). The mean oral hygiene in children was scored (1.21), while the mean oral hygiene in adolescents was (1.19). The factors showing significant relation ship to dental caries in children were flow rate, pH, oral hygiene (plaque index), lactobacilli, streptococcus mutans and candida, while the salivary factors showing a significant relation ship to dental caries in adolescent were pH, oral hygiene and count of lactobacilli.

Conclusion:Evidence from the current research support a central role of the salivary flow rate, pH, oral hygiene, count of salivary streptococcus mutans, lactobacilli and candida albicans in the increasing of dental caries in children. While in adolescent there was relation between dental caries and salivary pH, oral hygiene and count of lactobacilli.


- Varenne B, Peterson PE, Quattara S. Oral health status of children and adult in urban and rural areas of Bar kina Faso, Africa. Int Dent J. 2004-54:83-9.

- Nordgarden H, Lamkin M. Oppenheim FG et al. Salivary secretion: narcolepsy and central nervous system stimulants J Dent Res.1998;77:1817-22.

- Ravald N, Birkhad D, Factors associated with active and inactive root caries in patients with periodontal disease. Caries Res.1991; 25:377-84.

- Navazesh M,Christensen C, Brightmen V. Clinical criteria for the diagnosis of salivary gland hypofunction . J Dent Res.1992; 71 363-9.

- Tayanin GL,Petersson GH, Brathall D. Influence of sample type and collection method on Streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus spp. Counts in oral cavity. Oral health prev. Dent 2005;3: 15-23.

- Larmas M, Finland O. Salivary and dental caries; diagnostic tests for normal dental practice. Int Dent J 1992; 42: 199-208.

- WHO Oral Health Surveys Basic Method 4th ed Geneva 1997.

- Silness J, Loe H. Periodontal Disease in Pregnancy. Ii. Correlation between Oral Hygiene and Periodontal Condtion. Acta Odontol Scand. 1964;22:121–135.

- Tsai Al, Chen CY, Li LA, Hsiang CL, Hsu KH. Risk indicators for early childhood caries in Taiwan Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2006;34:437-445.

- Naidu R, Prevatt l, Simeon D. The oral and treatment needs of schoolchildren in Trinidad and Tobago findings of a national survey. Int J Pediatric Dent 2006; 16:412-418.

- Geo LC, Baysac MA, ToddKH, Linton JA. Assessing the prevalence of caries among elementary school in North Koea: a cross sectional survey in the Kagwon province Int J Dent Hyg 2005; 3:112-116.

- Sampio FC, Freitas CH, Cbral MB, Machado AT. Dental caries and treatment needs among indigenous people of the Potiguara Indian reservation in Brazil J Public health Dent 2010 Apr; 27(4):246-51.

- Lukacs JR, Largaespada LL. Explaining sex differences in dental caries prevalence: saliva, community Dent Health 2005; 22:175-179.

- El-Qaderi, S. and Quteish Ta'ani, D.), Dental plaque, caries prevalence and gingival conditions of 14–15-year-old schoolchildren in Jerash District, Jordan. Int J of Dent Hyg 2006, 4: 150–153.

- Dodds MW, Johnson DA, Yeh CK. Health benefits of saliva: are view. J Dent 2005;33:223-233.

- Crossner C. Salivary flow rate in children and adolescents. Sewd Dent J 1984; 8:271-276.

- Al-Samarrai SK. Major and trace elements contents of permanent teeth and saliva, among a group of adolescents, in relation to dental caries , gingivitis and mutans streptococci. Ph D thesis 2001, College of Dentistry, University of Baghdad.

- Farsi N. Dental caries in Relation to Salivary Factors in Saudi Population Groups. J Contemp Dent Pract 2008 March ;3:016-023.

- LIene-Puy M, Montanana-LIorens C, Fomer-Nevarro L. Cariogenic oral flora and its relation to dental caries. J Dent Children 2000; 65:42-46.

- Petersson GH, Fure S, Twetman S, Brrathall D. Comparing caries risk factor and risk profiles between children and elderly. Swed Dent J2004;28::119-128.

- Mascarenhas A, Oral hygiene as a indicator of enamel and dentin caries. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1998;26(5):331-9.

- Akdeniz BG, Koparal E, Sen BH, Ates M, Denizci AA, Prevalence of candida albicans in oral cavities and root canals of children J Dent Child 2002;69:289-253.

- Aguilera Galaviz LA, Premoli G, Gonzalez A, Rodriguez RA, Caries risk in children:determined by levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli. J Clin Pediatr Dent 2005;29:329-333.

- Thenisch NL, Bachmann LM, Imfeld T, Leisebach Minder T, Steurer J Are mutans streptococci detected in preschool children a reliable predictive factor for dental caries risk ? Caries Res 2006;40:366-374.

- Dasanayake AP, Caufield PW. Prevalence of dental caries in Sri Lankan aboriginal Veddha children. Int Dent J 2002;52:438-444.

- van Palenstein Heldeman WH, Mikx FH, Vant Hof MA, Truin G, Kalsbeek H, The value of salivary bacterial counts as a supplement to past caries experience as caries predictor in children. Eue J Oral Sci 2001;109: 312-315.

How to Cite
AL-Zahawi, S. (2018). The association between some salivary factors and dental caries in group of school children and adolescents in Erbil city. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences (Zanco J Med Sci), 15(2), 64-70. Retrieved from
Original Articles