The incidence of dental caries in children of South Karnataka is very high. An important etiological factor influencing the development of caries is the type of food consumed. Salivary amylase exerts a protective effect over teeth by hydrolysing large polysaccharide molecules left in the oral cavity which could otherwise serve as a matrix to encompass bacteria and result in tooth decay. Inhibitors of α-amylase present in these foodstuffs can therefore reduce this protective effect. The inhibition of salivary α-amylase of a group of 10 school children by some of the most commonly consumed local foodstuffs was studied. Rice preparations (rice idli, rice gruel and boiled rice), fish fry and banana did not have any effect on salivary amylase activity. A statistically significant effect was observed with the sweet preparations (kadla payisa and kesari baath), and the fried foods (potato chips and groundnuts). Inhibition by other foodstuffs (dosa, idli and upma) was slight and not significant. Considerable variations in basal amylase activity and susceptibility of α-amylase of individuals to inhibition by particular foodstuffs were also observed. It is possible that some component in saliva may be able to moderate the action of the inhibitor in resistant individuals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Food Science