Can salivary composition and high flow rate explain the low caries rate in children with familial dysautonomia?

E. Mass*, N. Gadoth, D. Harell, A. Wolff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: Extremely low caries rate and increased major salivary gland flow rate have been previously reported in children with familial dysautonomia (FD). The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility that, in addition to increased salivary flow, children with FD have alterations in their salivary components, which may suggest an explanation to their low caries rate. Methods: Whole unstimulated and stimulated saliva samples were collected from 13 children with FD who were found to be caries free, and from 28 age- and ethnic-matched healthy children, 15 caries-free children and 13 caries-affected children. The electrolyte and protein content of the unstimulated saliva and the microbial count and buffering capacity of the stimulated saliva were determined. Results: Children with FD had the highest salivary flow rate and the lowest levels of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli, as well as the lowest concentration of chloride, magnesium, total protein and IgA. Healthy caries-affected children displayed the highest mutans streptococci and lactobacilli levels and lysozyme concentration, concomitantly with the lowest potassium and calcium concentrations. Conclusions: The results of this investigation suggest that the caries-free state in FD may be associated with high salivary flow rate, while in healthy children, low caries rate may be associated with high salivary calcium concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Caries
  • Familial dysautonomia
  • Saliva


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