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J Conserv Dent. 2019 Jan-Feb;22(1):2-6. doi: 10.4103/JCD.JCD_531_18.

Saliva as a biomarker for dental caries: A systematic review.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Science, NITTE University, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Dental Specialty Clinic, Kankanady, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Science, NITTE University, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.



The aim of the present review article is to establish a systematic review to describe the role of various salivary components such as pH, buffering capacity, proteins, electrolyte, antioxidant, enzymes, and minerals in occurrence and initiation of dental caries in participants with and without dental caries.


An electronic search was conducted in the PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. The MESH terms (Medical Subject Headings) were "dental caries susceptibility," "caries risk assessment, "Salivary Biomarker," "saliva," "Proteins," "electrolytes," "biomarker," "Anti-oxidant's." The database search was limited to the studies published between 2008 and 2018 and only human studies were included. Furthermore, the STROBE criteria checklist was used to analyze the studies which had to be included in the systematic review.


A total of 150 articles were retrieved through electronic database. After evaluating the title, abstract, and full text of these articles, only 11 were selected for the present systematic review. However, two articles were excluded because they were classified as high risk of bias according to the STROBE criteria. Out of 9 studies selected, 5 were classified as low-risk bias and 4 were classified as moderate-risk bias.


Based on the results of the systematic review, out of 11 studies, 7 found to have a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without caries experience. Hence, it can be concluded that there is an association between various components of saliva and dental caries.


Biomarkers; STROBE criteria; dental caries; saliva

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