International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry

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VOLUME 17 , ISSUE 1 ( January, 2024 ) > List of Articles


Estimation and Association of Total Protein Concentration with Early Childhood Caries in 3–6-year-old Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Umapathy Thimmegowda, Soumya Pai, Nagarathna Chikkanarasaiah, Aishwarya Nanjappa

Keywords : Early childhood caries, Saliva, Total protein concentration

Citation Information : Thimmegowda U, Pai S, Chikkanarasaiah N, Nanjappa A. Estimation and Association of Total Protein Concentration with Early Childhood Caries in 3–6-year-old Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2024; 17 (1):36-40.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-2749

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 14-03-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Background and objective: Caries is a common problem witnessed in children, early childhood caries (ECC) is the most predominant chronic disease which not only leads to distress and pain but also poor quality of life, thus affecting the overall well-being of children. Salivary protein plays a vital part in monitoring health status or disease. It was stated that the salivary proteins could regulate the equilibrium of oral health, preserve a stable ecosystem, and constrain the growth of cariogenic bacteria. Aim: The aim of this study is to estimate the total protein concentration in saliva and its correlation to ECC. Materials and methods: A total of 20 patients with ECC in the age-group of 3–6 years were selected as the experimental group and 20 patients without caries for the control group. Unstimulated saliva samples were collected and subjected to spectrophotometry. The data obtained was subjected to statistical analysis. Independent student's t-test was used for the comparison of mean salivary pH between the caries group and the control group. Mann–Whitney test was used for a comparison of salivary total protein concentrations between the two groups. Results: The mean pH of the carious group showed a statistically significant slightly lower value than that of the noncarious group. On the contrary, the mean total protein concentration of the carious group presented a statistically significant higher value than that of the noncarious group. Age-wise comparison of mean salivary proteins in the carious group and the noncarious group showed an increase in the protein concentration in the children aged 4 years or younger. Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, it can be concluded that there is a strong association between the total protein concentration in saliva and ECC. There exists a significant increase in the total protein concentration in children with ECC. As age increases, total protein concentration decreases with age. Clinical significance: Total protein concentration and particular protein estimation and quantification help us in assessing the risk of caries in children at the earliest and prevention of caries through preventive measures. Estimation of total salivary protein concentration in children can be a marker for ECC in children.

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