Author(s): Farsi N
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Abstract AIMS: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to register caries trends in relation to some risk factors such as oral hygiene, salivary level of streptococcus mutans (SM), lactobacilli (LB), yeast, salivary flow rate, buffering capacity, pH, and fluoride level among different age groups of a Saudi population. The study also aimed at determining which of the salivary factors correlate significantly to caries. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A random sample of 312 subjects belonging to age groups six-11, 12-17, and 18-40 years were selected from patients attending the screening dental clinics of the Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Patients were examined clinically to measure the caries experience using decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) and oral hygiene levels using the Green and Vermillion method. Resting and stimulated saliva were collected to determine flow rate, fluoride, pH, buffering capacity as well as salivary level of SM, LB and yeast. RESULTS: The mean DMFT was 7.59. Females as well as the older age group of patients were more affected than males and younger patients. The only salivary factor showing a significant relationship to caries was pH. Counts of SM and LB correlated positively with DMFT scores. Significant higher plaque scores were present among the highest caries level group. CONCLUSION: The results stress the importance of screening for caries risk factors. The screening starts with simple clinical observations, expanding to a diversified pattern of tests to assess the pH level and SM and LB counts designed to target high-risk subjects who should be given the most intensive caries preventive measures.
This article was published in J Contemp Dent Pract
and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access