Stomatoloski glasnik Srbije 2006 Volume 53, Issue 4, Pages: 217-228
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Correlation between dental health status and environmental factors: Nutrition, oral hygiene and saliva in children

Cvetković Andrijana, Vulović Marko, Ivanović Mirjana

Caries is a disease of multi-causal etiology, where environmental factors such as oral hygiene, nutrition and saliva have great importance. Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between dental health status and environmental factors: oral hygiene, nutrition, salivary pH and the flow rate of stimulated saliva in children. Materials and methods: Research was done in children with caries and in children with healthy teeth of both gender and the age of 12. Questionnaire method was used to obtain data about the time of consuming refined carbohydrates and oral hygiene. Oral hygiene level was determined using the Silness-loe plaque index and saliva was analyzed by measuring the flow rate of stimulated saliva, as well as measuring pH of non-stimulated and stimulated saliva. Results: Examining the correlation of seven analyzed characteristics it was possible to determine the presence of 14 (66,7%) correlations out of 21 possible, with statistical significance and various p-values starting from p=0.038 (tau-b=0.229) up to p<0.001 (r=0.667). Out of seven analyzed characteristics, the time of carbohydrate consumption, the presence of caries (group) and pH of non-stimulated saliva are predominantly correlated with other characteristics. Conclusion: The results of this examination show caries appearance in children to be in highly significant correlation with frequency of carbohydrate consumption, plaque index and pH values of non-stimulated saliva. In other words, children with caries consume carbohydrates often between meals, have high plaque index and lower pH values of non-stimulated saliva.

Keywords: dental caries, nutrition, oral hygiene, salivary pH, salivary flow rate

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