Lugliè, Pietrina Francesca and Campus, Guglielmo Giuseppe and Deiola, C. and Mela, Maria Graziella and Gallisai, Domenico Pietro Paolo (2002) Oral condition, chemistry of saliva, and salivary levels of Streptococcus mutans in thalassemic patients. Clinical Oral Investigations, Vol. 6 (4), p. 223-226. eISSN 1436-3771. Article.
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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the oral status in a group of patients with thalassemia major (TM). Eighteen TM patients (15 M, three F) and 18 healthy controls randomly matched for age and sex were examined for dental caries using the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index and for oral hygiene conditions using the oral hygiene index (OHI)-S. Spontaneous saliva was collected from each subject, and the biochemical composition (calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, urea) was determined. Furthermore, salivary Streptococcus mutans levels were evaluated. Statistical analysis (Student’s t-test) were performed for means comparison, while independence among categorical variables was assessed using the χ² test. Fisher’s exact test was used when expected cell values were less than 5. Dental status (DMFT index) was almost equal in the two groups (10.3 in TM vs 9.4 in controls, P=0.34). The occurrence of plaque (OHI-S 2) was higher in the control group, but no statistically significant association was observed between oral hygiene conditions in the two groups (Fisher’s exact test 0.47, P=0.79). Biochemical saliva composition was very similar in the two groups; only the urea concentration was lower in TM, and this difference was statistically significant (P=0.002). The TM patients had an increased presence of mutans streptococci at detectable levels. Our findings confirm that, although no substantial differences were found between the two observed groups, further investigations are needed to determine the theoretical risk of oral diseases in thalassemic patients.
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