Age impacts salivary markers of oxidative stress, oral pathology

Age has a significant impact on the variance of salivary markers of oxidative stress, and could shed light on the pathogenesis of oral diseases, report Slovakian researchers.

Their study results show that salivary concentrations of thiobarbituric acid-reacting substances (TBARS), advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) significantly increase with increasing age.

In addition, while age was not associated with advanced oxidation protein products (AOPPs), lower AOPPs increased the dental caries risk, says the team.

"The effect of age should be taken into account in further studies focusing on the salivary markers of oxidative stress in relation to oral health," suggest Peter Celec (Comenius University, Bratislava) and colleagues in the Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine.

TBARS have been shown in previous research to mark lipid peroxidation and have been linked to periodontal status, indicating their potential use in monitoring nonsurgical periodontal therapy, which leads to a decrease in local lipid peroxidation, explain Celec et al.

The team analyzed salivary markers of oxidative stress in 128 female and 76 male dental patients aged between 19 and 83 years, and calculated papillary bleeding index (PBI) scores (where 0=no bleeding on probing and 2 = moderate to severe bleeding) and caries indices (CIs) (where 0=no lesions and 2=evidence of deep dentin lesions).

PBI score significantly predicted salivary TBARS, while CI was a predictor for TBARS and AOPPs, report the researchers.

In analysis of variance, PBI and TBARS were also significantly positively associated, such that patients with a PBI score of 2 had significantly higher TBARS concentrations than did their peers with a score of 0. Similarly, patients with the highest CI scores had significantly lower AOPP concentrations than those with a CI of 1.

Finally, the researchers observed significant increases in TBARS, AGEs, and TAC with increasing age, but no such association with AOPPs, which is "surprising" they say, since AOPPs in plasma are known to increase with age and in age-related systemic diseases.

Specifically, TBARS, AGEs, and TAC increased from approximate respective averages of 0.05, 1.10, and 0.70 µm at 50 years to 0.06, 1.60, and 0.90 µm at 80 years.

"The fact that age increases oxidative stress is not surprising and is in line with our previous findings. Nevertheless, this is the first report that quantifies these associations," conclude Celec and co-workers.

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