BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the biochemical and immunological characteristics of saliva from diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic adults.
METHODS: Eighty-eight diabetic adults and 39 non-diabetic adults (control) were included in the study. Glucose, urea, calcium, total protein and amylase were determined by a colorimetric method. The levels of secretory IgA and the IgA anti-Streptococcus mutans and anti-insulin IgA antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Caries status was evaluated using the DMFT index.
RESULTS: Glucose, urea, calcium, anti-S. mutans IgA, total IgA, and anti-insulin IgA were significantly higher in diabetic patients, whereas total protein and amylase levels were lower in these patients. There was no positive correlation between blood and salivary glucose levels in either group. Diabetic patients had a higher DMFT index.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed for the first time that IgA levels in diabetic patients’saliva, shows correlation with systemic biochemical parameters. Thus the saliva is an useful tool to follow the systemic health status in these patients.