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


Background: Malnutrition influences the development of the teeth and the formation, function and secretion of thesalivary glands, which in turn influence susceptibility to dental caries and gingival disease. The aims of this study wereto assess the salivary antioxidants (vitamin A, C and E) levels as well as total protein and their relation to cariesseverity 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 (30malnourished and 30 well nourished). The 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts wasused for assessment of nutritional status (height for age). The age was five years old. Caries severity (d1-4s) wasassessed according to Muhlemann (1976). Dental plaque recorded following the criteria described by Sillness andLöe (1964). The gingival index (GI) was used according to Löe and Sillness criteria (1963). Stimulated whole salivasamples were collected and chemically analyzed by using colorimetric method to determine the salivaryantioxidants (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 withstatistically highly significant difference (P< 0.001). According to grades of lesion severity, d4 was significantly thehigher among malnourished children (P< 0.001). Strong highly significant correlations were noticed between ds, dmfsand PI among malnourished and well nourished children. Significantly lower values of vitamins and total protein werenoticed among malnourished children compared to well nourished (P< 0.001). Negative highly significantcorrelations 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 riskfactor for dental caries and gingival disease in the target group.