Original Research

Salivary Biomarker Levels and Oral Health Status of Children with Cerebral Palsy and Their Healthy Siblings: A Comparative Study

Palanichamy Anjugam, Veerabadhran Mahesh Mathian, Murugesan Gawthaman, Selvaraj Vinod, and Easwaramurthy Yamuna Devi


Background: The dental needs of cerebral palsy children are an area of study much in need of attention. The neglect of this aspect should be rectified, and simpler diagnostic methodologies should be established and used to serve this purpose. Aim: This study aimed to determine oral health status and salivary biomarkers (salivary flow rate, pH, buffering capacity) among children with cerebral palsy (CP), to compare their data with that of their healthy siblings, and to evaluate the relationship between salivary biomarkers and dental caries. Methods: A total of 30 CP children (study group) and 30 normal healthy siblings (controls) were selected between the ages of 5 and 12 years. Salivary biomarkers were assessed, and oral health status was examined. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test was used for comparison of oral health status. “Unpaired t test was used to compare caries indexes (decay/filled teeth–primary dentition [dft] and decay/missing/filled teeth–permanent dentition [DMFT]) and salivary biomarkers between the groups. Pearson correlation was used to find the correlation between salivary biomarkers and caries. Results: The dft scores were significantly higher in the study group (P<0.05). The pH values and salivary flow rates were significantly lower in the study group (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively). There was a significant correlation between DMFT scores and salivary flow rate in the study group (P<0.05). Conclusion: Low pH and low salivary flow rate might be risk factors for dental caries in CP populations; moreover, the significant correlation between DMFT score and salivary flow rate suggests that salivary flow rate could be used as a screening tool for assessing at-risk subjects in such populations.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2021;12(2):e0015