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Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2012 Jul-Aug;40(4):220-4. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

Assessing caries, dental plaque and salivary flow in asthmatic adolescents using inhaled corticosteroids.

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Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.



A number of studies have reported that inhaled corticosteroids may cause a greater incidence of caries, reduced salivary flow, changes in saliva composition and an increased frequency of dental plaque, probably through alterations in the oral microbiota. The objective was to compare the frequency of caries, dental plaque and non-stimulated salivary flow rate among asthmatic adolescents using inhaled corticosteroids and non-asthmatic adolescents, as well as the salivary biochemical parameters (pH and leucocytes) in both groups.


This research has a descriptive cross-sectional design to compare dental health of 40 asthmatics on inhaled corticosteroids and 40 non-asthmatic adolescents (median age 13 years).


The findings were a higher number of tooth surfaces affected by dental caries (median 4 versus 1.5), and more dental plaques (median 70.5 versus 60.7) among asthmatic adolescents. They also had a significantly higher frequency of salivary leucocytes. The non-stimulated salivary flow was similar in both groups.


The results suggest an association between the use of inhaled corticosteroids and an increased risk of dental caries and bacterial plaque, which calls for special attention of these patients by doctors and dental health professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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