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10 June 2020 : Clinical Research  

Can Salivary Biomarkers Be Used as Predictors of Dental Caries in Young Adolescents?

Branislava Stojković1ABCDEF*, Marija Igić1ACD, Tatjana Jevtović Stoimenov2ACD, Olivera Tričković Janjić1AD, Aleksandra Ignjatović3ACD, Miloš Kostić4AD, Milica Petrović1EF, Simona Stojanović1EF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.923471

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e923471


BACKGROUND: Identifying caries predictors in the subpopulation at risk is one of the preconditions for developing effective caries prevention measures. The present exploratory study aimed to examine the significance of socio-demographic characteristics, dietary-hygiene habits, salivary pH, and salivary antimicrobial HNP-1, hBD-2, and LL-37 peptides as potential caries risk predictors in children ages 11–13 years.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This prospective 1-year study enrolled 213 children ages 11–13 years. The subjects underwent a dental examination and their mothers were interviewed. Unstimulated saliva was collected from the subjects to determine its pH value, as well as the salivary levels of HNP-1, hBD-2, and LL-37 peptides in 85 of the subjects. After 12 months, the 1-year caries incidence rate was recorded. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the ability of selected variables to predict caries risk.

RESULTS: The univariable logistic regression analysis determined that the most significant independent caries risk predictors were: sex (female) (OR=2.132, p=0.007), mothers’ education (OR=1.986, p=0.020), salivary pH (OR=0.270, p=0.043), oral hygiene index (OR=1.886, p=0.015), and daily tooth brushing frequency (OR=0.565, p=0.042). The multivariable model showed that sex and oral hygiene-related variables were the most important caries predictors.

CONCLUSIONS: Salivary HNP-1, hBD-2, and LL-37 peptides were not found to have a significant predictive value. Therefore, socio-demographic and oral hygiene variables remain important caries predictors in early adolescents, suggesting the importance of the mechanical control of biofilm as the key measure for preventing caries. However, there is still a need for effective caries risk biomarkers, and additional research is needed in this area of caries risk prediction.

Keywords: Adolescent, Dental Caries, Oral Hygiene, cathelicidins, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Feeding Behavior, Incidence, Peptide Fragments, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Saliva, Surveys and Questionnaires, Toothbrushing, alpha-Defensins, beta-Defensins

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750