Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Relative Saliva Viscosity among Carious and Non-Carious Young Adults


  • clement C Azodo **Department of Periodontics, **Department of Physics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria.]
  • Okhuomaruyi D Osahon **Department of Periodontics, **Department of Physics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria.]


Objective: To determine relative saliva viscosity (RSV)
among carious and non-carious young adult Nigerians
Methods: Participants included in this study were young
adults of both sexes aged 11-40 years recruited and
categorized as non-carious individuals as those with
Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth (DMFT) of 0 and
carious individual as those with DMFT of ?1. The
collection of unstimulated saliva samples was done
using disposable cups and aspirated into 10 mls syringe.
RSV was determined by allowing saliva to flow through
a 10 mls syringe and measuring the rate of flow from 2
mls to 0 mls. The timing was done by means of a
stopwatch and recorded in seconds. The plunger of the
disposable syringe is carefully removed to allow the
saliva to flow through the adaptor without the needle.
The start off for the flow is usually above 2 mls but
timing start off timing is at 2 mls as a precautionary
measure. This is a simple and accurate model for
measuring the viscousity of liquid (Figure 1). Statistical
tests used in this study were independent t-test and
one-way ANOVA. Statistical significance was at P <0.05.
Results: The participants in this study were between 17
and 40 years with a mean age of 27.81±6.56 years. The
overall mean relative saliva viscosity among the
participants was 1.93±0.26. The mean relative saliva
viscosity was 2.39±0.65 among participants aged 31-
40years old. Female participants had mean relative
saliva viscosity of 2.09±0.40. Participants with dental
caries had mean relative saliva viscosity of 2.41±0.44.
Conclusion: Relative saliva viscosity measured with a 10
disposable syringe was found to be higher in
participants with dental caries than those without.
Strategies to prevent dental caries should include
efforts to increase the viscosity of saliva. Salivary
viscosity of 1.16-1.66 Poise (P) (which is the CGS unit of
viscosity) signifies oral cavity without dental caries. The
SI Unit of viscosity is pascal second (Pa s). Ten poise
equal one pascal second making the centipoise (cP) and
millipascal second (mPa s) identical. Further studies on
salivary viscosity and severity of dental caries is
Keywords: Relative saliva viscosity, salivary, carious,
non – carious, young adults.