Background: Dental caries is a chronic disease among children and there is need for studies assessing the caries risk factors using saliva. This study aimed to evaluate the association of salivary soluble CD14 and dental caries in young children. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among 300, 3-6 year old school children of Udupi district. A total of 40 children who were caries free, with no past systemic illness or craniofacial anomalies and 40 children with dental caries with no history of dental treatment for caries, with no past systemic illness or craniofacial anomalies were included in control and test groups respectively. Salivary CD14 was evaluated using ELISA test. Results: The mean salivary soluble CD14 concentration was significantly higher in caries free (1.34±0.35 μg/ml) children than caries experienced (0.54±0.36 μg/ml) (p < 0.001). There was significant strong negative correlation between number of decayed teeth and soluble salivary CD14 (r = -0.868, P < 0.001) among all the children. Similarly, sub-group analysis of caries experienced children also showed significant strong negative correlation between number of decayed teeth and soluble salivary CD14 (r = -0.774, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Results obtained in our study suggested that salivary CD14 can be a indicator of dental caries in young children.
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