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


  • Clement C. AZODO
  • Okhuomaruyi D. OSAHON


Relative saliva viscosity, salivary, carious, non – carious, young adults


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 recommended.


Author Biographies

Clement C. AZODO

Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria.

Okhuomaruyi D. OSAHON

Department of Physics, University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State, Nigeria.