Evaluation of Some Salivary Characteristics in Relation to Dental Caries among Children with Beta-Thalassemia Major
Author(s): Shaymaa Rasheed Ali*, Aseel Haidar MJ Al Haidar
Background: Thalassemia can cause obvious systemic as well as oral health problems so that clinicians must be concerned
about the impact of this genetic disorder among those patients. A significant risk of dental cavities and poor oral hygiene
can be noted among children with β-thalassemia major. This could be due to that among those patients there is a reduction
in the salivary flow rate as well as the pH of the saliva.
Objective: This study was undertaken to determine some of salivary characteristics in relation to dental caries among
children with beta-thalassemia major.
Materials and methods: A total of 80 children their age ranged from 10 to 12 years were enrolled in this study (40
thalassemic children who were previously diagnosed with β-thalassemia major as a study group compared to 40 healthy
children as a control group). Their teeth were examined using dmfs/ds and DMFS/DS indices. From each child and under
standardized conditions a sample of unstipulated saliva to evaluate the salivary flow rate and the saliva PH a whole saliva
sample was taken. Then the data recorded was analysed statistically.
Results: For both the primary and permanent teeth, high dental caries experience (dmft/DMFT) was found among β-
thalassemic children those be comparable to the controls, this difference was statistically significant (p<0.05). Salivary flow
rate was significantly low among thalassemiac children compared to the control group. Although the salivary pH was found
to be higher among the control group than those in the study group were, this difference was not significant statistically.
Conclusion: Beta thalassemia major was related to the presence of higher mean of dental caries and lower level of salivary
rate of flow and pH.