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J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2011 Spring;35(3):319-23.

Evaluation of oral hygiene status, salivary characteristics and dental caries experience in acute lymphoblastic leukemic (ALL) children.

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  • 1PRIST University, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. amipedo@yahoo.co.in


Leukemia constitutes approximately 30% of all childhood cancers and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of malignancy. Oral dryness, ulceration, increased dental decay seen is due to altered salivary flow rate and buffering capacity in these children. Oxidative stress may play an important role in the malignancies resulting in onset of inflammatory oral pathologies. Saliva constitutes first line of defense against free radical-mediated oxidative stress. The present study attempted to relate the oral health status, salivary flow rate, salivary pH, gingival health status, dental caries experience and total salivary antioxidant levels in ALL children. A total of 120 children aged 4-10 years (90 leukemic children, study group and 30 normal healthy siblings, control group) were divided into 4 groups of 30 each. Oral health status, gingival status and dental caries experience was recorded followed by un-stimulated saliva collection. Total antioxidant capacity of un-stimulated saliva was evaluated. The results depicted deterioration in oral health status, gingival status and increased dental caries experience in leukemic children. Salivary flow rate, salivary pH and total salivary antioxidant levels were lowered in leukemic children when compared with control group.

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