Background: In the elderly, the necessity to promote oral health is increasing to improve their quality of life. The prediction of dental caries risk makes it possible to prolong the life span of teeth. To develop a quick diagnosis system for caries risk, two methods, the modified Saliva Check SMTM and Saliva Check sIgA, were investigated in elderly patients.
Methods: We developed a caries risk quick assessment system using Saliva Check sIgA that specifically recognizes secretory IgA (sIgA) in saliva against the binding site of the mutans streptococci (MS) to the salivary-coated tooth surface; and combined it with a modified Saliva Check SMTM to determine the number of MS. One hundred eighty three patients (80 females, 103 males) who participated in 2005 (average age 77 years) and in 2006 (average age 78 years) were assessed for caries risk using the systems in this cohort study.
Results: Subjects with a positive Saliva Check sIgA showed a significantly lower increment of decayed and filled teeth number (DFT) on the coronal surface; whereas those testing negative had root decay and increased filled teeth numbers (RDFT) at the root surface during the following year. The combination of Saliva Check sIgA and modified Saliva Check SMTM showed the subjects with Saliva Check sIgA positive and modified Saliva Check SMTM negative had less than half of the increment of DFT than other groups. In the other groups, Saliva Check sIgA negative and modified Saliva Check SMTM positive detected > 90 % of the subjects with an MS level of > 5 × 105 / mL of saliva in patients that were assessed in 2006. This suggests these subjects may need extensive care.
Conclusions: This new combination system significantly evaluates the caries risk to predict future incidence for dental caries on the coronal surface and may be useful for risk diagnosis of caries during a visit to the dental office.
DOI: Clin. Lab. 2010;56:505-512