Salivary antioxidants and oral health in children with autism

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Children Dentistry, A.B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India.
Archives of oral biology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 04/2012; 57(8):1116-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.03.006
Source: PubMed


Individuals with autism vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviours. Autistic children have preferences for soft and sweetened food making them susceptible to caries. A wide spectrum of medical and behavioural symptoms is exhibited by children with autism, which makes routine dental care very difficult in them. Mental retardation is evident in approximately 70% of individuals with autism and most psychiatric disorders including autism are associated with increased oxidative stress.
To evaluate the oral health status of children with autism and to determine the salivary pH and total salivary antioxidant concentration (TAC).
101 subjects with autism between age group of 6 and 12 year were part of the study and 50 normal healthy siblings of same age group were taken as control group. Oral health status was analysed using oral hygiene index-simplified and dentition status index. The salivary total anti-oxidant level was estimated using phosphomolybdic acid using spectrophotometric method and the salivary pH using the pH indicating paper. The results were statistically analyzed using Mann-Whitney U test.
A statistically very highly significant difference was seen in the mean oral hygiene index scores (autistic group--1.2 and control group--1, P<0.001) and the mean salivary total antioxidant concentration (autistic group--5.7 μg/ml and control group--38 μg/ml, P<0.001). No statistical significant difference was observed in the dental caries status and the salivary pH of autistic group and the control group.
Similar dental caries status was observed in children with autism and their healthy normal siblings. Oral hygiene was poor in children with autism whereas the Salivary TAC was significantly reduced in autistic children.

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Available from: Nijo Jose, Dec 11, 2014
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    • "In other words, whether the inability of the patient to engage in the environment leads to sensory processing disorders or vice versa remains to be determined. Most importantly, the dental professional during examination should bear in mind that autistic individuals exhibit wide variation in abilities, intelligence, and performance (11). Due to the multifaceted symptomatology of the autistic disorder, practitioners may need to target their therapeutic approach to the unique characteristics of each presenting child. "
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