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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 549-552

A comparative study of long-term effect of tobacco on resting whole mouth salivary flow rate and pH

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, AECS Maaruti College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sabarni Chakrabarty
Santara Magan Place, Flat No 01, Princess Block, Hulimavu Tank Bund Road, Doddakamanahalli, Bengaluru 560 076, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-1363.188759

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Introduction: The taste receptors responsible for salivary secretion are constantly being affected by the harmful by-products of tobacco, and it is believed that tobacco usage on a long-term basis can decrease the sensitivity of taste receptors leading to decreased salivary reflex. It is hypothesized that long-term tobacco usage might lead to altered taste receptors' response, changing the salivary flow rate (SFR). Unstimulated whole mouth SFR and salivary pH play an important role in the causation of various oral changes and conditions. Aims: The aim of this study is to determine the effects of long-term use of tobacco on SFR and salivary pH and the oral and dental health among tobacco chewers, smokers, and control group. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: The study comprised a total of 90 patients who were grouped into smokers (group A), smokeless tobacco chewers (group B), and controls (group C). Each group consisted of 30 healthy male adults. Resting whole mouth saliva was collected from every patient; SFR was calculated and then salivary pH was assessed using the salivary pH strips, depending on the color change of the indicator paper strip when compared with a color chart. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Service (SPSS) computer software. Student's t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Z-test were applied to assess between-group differences. Results: The mean (±SD) SFR was found to be 0.77 (±0.23) ml/min for group A, 0.63 (±0.16) ml/min for group B, and 1.08 (±0.08) ml/min for group C, and on comparing the groups, the result was significant. The mean (±SD) pH was found to be 6.8 (±0.20) for group A, 6.65 (±0.30) for group B, and 7.06 (±0.23) for group C and was also found to be significant on comparison. Conclusions: It is concluded from this experimental study on long-term tobacco users that smokeless and smoked forms of tobacco adversely affect salivary reflex, salivary secretion, and salivary pH, with the smokeless form being more harmful than the smoked form of tobacco. The effect of tobacco on long-term usage can lead to vulnerable changes in the oral mucosa and dental structures.

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