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Relationship between salivary flow rates and Candida counts in subjects with xerostomia.

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Depatment of Oral Pathology and oral Diagnostic, School of Dentistry, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



This study evaluated the relationship between salivary flow and Candida colony counts in the saliva of patients with xerostomia.


Sialometry and Candida colony-forming unit (CFU) counts were taken from 112 subjects who reported xerostomia in a questionnaire. Chewing-stimulated whole saliva was collected and streaked in Candida plates and counted in 72 hours. Species identification was accomplished under standard methods.


There was a significant inverse relationship between salivary flow and Candida CFU counts (P =.007) when subjects with high colony counts were analyzed (cutoff point of 400 or greater CFU/mL). In addition, the median sialometry of men was significantly greater than that of women (P =.003), even after controlling for confounding variables like underlying disease and medications. Sjögren's syndrome was associated with low salivary flow rate (P =.007). There was no relationship between the median Candida CFU counts and gender or age. There was a high frequency (28%) of mixed colonization. Candida albicans was the most frequent species, followed by C parapsilosis, C tropicalis, and C krusei.


In subjects with high Candida CFU counts there was an inverse relationship between salivary flow and Candida CFU counts.

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