Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 23–27 | Cite as

Saliva flow rate, buffer capacity, and pH of autistic individuals

  • Ivy Haralambos BassoukouEmail author
  • José Nicolau
  • Maria Teresa dos Santos
Original Article


The objective of the study was to evaluate saliva flow rate, buffer capacity, pH levels, and dental caries experience (DCE) in autistic individuals, comparing the results with a control group (CG). The study was performed on 25 noninstitutionalized autistic boys, divided in two groups. G1 composed of ten children, ages 3–8. G2 composed of 15 adolescents ages 9–13. The CG was composed of 25 healthy boys, randomly selected and also divided in two groups: CG3 composed of 14 children ages 4–8, and CG4 composed of 11 adolescents ages 9–14. Whole saliva was collected under slight suction, and pH and buffer capacity were determined using a digital pHmeter. Buffer capacity was measured by titration using 0.01 N HCl, and the flow rate expressed in ml/min, and the DCE was expressed by decayed, missing, and filled teeth (permanent dentition [DMFT] and primary dentition [dmft]). Data were plotted and submitted to nonparametric (Kruskal–Wallis) and parametric (Student’s t test) statistical tests with a significance level less than 0.05. When comparing G1 and CG3, groups did not differ in flow rate, pH levels, buffer capacity, or DMFT. Groups G2 and CG4 differ significantly in pH (p = 0.007) and pHi = 7.0 (p = 0.001), with lower scores for G2. In autistic individuals aged 3–8 and 9–13, medicated or not, there was no significant statistical difference in flow rate, pH, and buffer capacity. The comparison of DCE among autistic children and CG children with deciduous (dmft) and mixed/permanent decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) did not show statistical difference (p = 0.743). Data suggest that autistic individuals have neither a higher flow rate nor a better buffer capacity. Similar DCE was observed in both groups studied.


Saliva Flow rate Buffer capacity pH Autistic disorder 


Conflict of interest declaration

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivy Haralambos Bassoukou
    • 1
    Email author
  • José Nicolau
    • 2
  • Maria Teresa dos Santos
    • 3
  1. 1.Pedodontics DepartmentCruzeiro do Sul UniversitySao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Oral Biology Research CenterUniversity of São PauloSao PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Pedodontics DepartmentCruzeiro do Sul UniversitySao PauloBrazil

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