Salivary Total Protein Levels and their correlation to Dental Caries
Background: Saliva is essential for a lifelong conservation of dentition; its various functions are implicated in the maintenance of oral health and the protection of teeth. Saliva contains a large number of proteins that participate in the protection of the oral tissues, for instance lysozyme, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, immunoglobulins, agglutinin and mucin. Because, all these proteins and peptides have a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity there seems to be a considerable overlap in their functionality. Aims: Analysing variability of naturally occurring total protein concentration in unstimulated whole human saliva of patients with dental caries and hence to correlate the levels of total salivary protein with DMFT index. Methods and Materials: Thirty nine patients were randomly selected and informed consent was obtained. Saliva was collected by the spitting method with all the necessary precautions. It was collected on ice, preserved at -20oC, centrifuged and speed evaporated. The salivary total protein levels were estimated by Lowry’s method after reconstitution with Lamelli’s Buffer. Statistical analysis: The data thus obtained was subjected to Pearson’s Correlation Test and p value below 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A significant correlation was obtained between the salivary total protein levels and dental caries; also protein levels with age. Conclusion: The total salivary proteins levels show a linear increase with the DMFT index, thus establishing a correlation between the parameters under our study. This study adds to better understanding of salivary components and their role in dental caries and in the future, modulation of such parameters could play an important role in controlling formation of carious lesion, opening an entirely new avenue of carious prevention.
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