Dental caries, salivary parameters and plaque scores as caries risk predictors among 12 year old school children – A follow up study

Introduction: Dental caries is a disease with multifactorial etiology and many other factors influence indirectly. The important factors are Streptococci mutans, Lactobacilli counts, saliva flow rate, buffering capacity and past caries experience.

Objective: To find the association between caries increment and various risk factors: Caries experience, dental plaque, salivary flow rate, buffering capacity, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli counts. Method: Dental caries and plaque scores were assessed using Modified Dentition Status and Treatment Needs and Silness and Loe index respectively. Stimulated saliva was collected to estimate salivary flow rate, buffering capacity, Streptococcus mutans and lactobacilli colony forming units. Bivariate analysis was carried out using caries increment (dichotomous for DMFT and DMFS) and each variable dichotomized at baseline (Pearson’s χ 2 test with continuity correction as required).

Result: WPDMFT and WPDMFS were associated with caries increment (DMFT and DMFS) after 8 months (p=0.01, p=0.04 respectively). Salivary Streptococcus mutans counts alone showed a statistically significant association for caries increment (WPDMFT and WPDMFS).

Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest initial caries to be the strongest predictor of caries occurrence in future.


Mamata Hebbal , Ani V Ankola, Sharada .C. Metgud

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