J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2022 Oct-Dec;40(4):404-409. doi: 10.4103/jisppd.jisppd_439_22.
BACKGROUND: Placement of intraoral appliances such as space maintainers (SMs) may be associated with the alteration of microbial and nonmicrobial parameters of saliva which may lead to the initiation of incipient caries.
AIM: The aim of this study was to compare and evaluate the changes in salivary flow rate, pH, and Streptococcus mutans levels in children undergoing fixed and removable SM therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study participants comprised 40 children aged 4-10 years divided into two groups of 20 each. Children undergoing fixed (Group I = 20) and removable SM therapy (Group II = 20). Salivary flow rate, pH, and S. mutans levels were recorded just before and 3 months after the placement of SMs. Data were compared for both groups.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: It was analyzed using SPSS software version 20. The level of significance was kept at 5%.
RESULTS: A significant increase in salivary flow rate (<0.05) and S. mutans level (<0.05) was evident, however, no significant difference in pH was found in both the groups from baseline to 3 months after appliance placement. Group I showed a significant increase (<0.05) in S. mutans level as compared to Group II.
CONCLUSION: SM therapy allied both favorable and unfavorable changes in salivary parameters, thus emphasizing the importance of parent and patient education about maintaining proper oral hygiene during SM therapy.