Estimation of Salivary Glucose and Total Protein in Early Childhood Caries (ECC)
Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is a major oral health problem, mainly in socially disadvantaged populations. It affects infants and preschool children worldwide. ECC is the presence of one or more decayed, missing, or filled primary teeth in children aged 5 years or younger. It begins as a white-spot lesion in the upper primary incisors along the margin of the gingiva. If the disease continues, caries will progress and leads to complete destruction of the crown. Even though it is a preventable condition, ECC remains one of the most common childhood diseases. The major contributing factors for the high prevalence of ECC are improper feeding practices, familial socioeconomic background, lack of parental education, and lack of access to dental care. Oral health plays an important role in children to maintain the oral functions and is required for eating, speech development, and a positive self-image. The aim of the study is to determine the total protein and salivary glucose in children with early childhood caries. Eighteen saliva samples were collected from children between the age group of 5-10 years. They were divided into two groups-children with early childhood caries and children with healthy and controlled oral cavity. There was significant difference in the concentration of total protein and salivary glucose concentration between children with ECC and children with healthy oral cavity. Glucose content was found to be more in children with ECC compared to children with healthy oral cavity. Based on the results of these studies, these saliva components may be used as biomarkers for ECC. Other etiological factors, salivary components, enzymes may be assessed for further studies.