Background: Dental caries development is a complex and dynamic process which is influenced by wide array of factors, of which dietary habits and salivary physicochemical biomarkers are of most significance. Salivary markers such as flow rate, pH and buffering capacity play a major role in the development of caries. In this study the relationship between these salivary marker among caries free and caries active was measured.
Methods: In this analytical cross sectional study, multistage stratified sampling technique was used, 700 private and public school children of different socioeconomic class, between six to sixteen years of age were selected. The status of dental caries was determined through dental examination using DMFT index. Unstimulated whole saliva was collected through Passive Drool Method and the selected physiochemical properties were assessed. The mean difference between caries free and caries active groups was noted and to identify significant risk factors for caries logistic regression analysis was performed.
Results: Comparison of salivary parameters between the two groups (caries free, caries active) showed that, there is significant decrease in mean value for salivary flow rate and buffering capacity in caries active group i.e., p<0.001. Risk factors were found to be significantly high in caries active group with flow rate (OR=20.06; p< 0.001), pH (OR=1.82; p= 0.90) and buffer capacity (OR=8.76; p=0.79).
Conclusion: Research showed that participants with active caries have lower resting salivary flow rates than caries free subjects. Caries free participants had a normal range of salivary pH and better buffering capacity than participants with active caries.