European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 307–312 | Cite as

The impact of dental treatment on the salivary cortisol levels of children with severe early childhood caries

  • S. C. PaniEmail author
  • M. Al Odhaib
Original Scientific Article



To compare salivary cortisol levels of caries-free children with those of children with severe early childhood caries (S-ECC) before and 3 months after comprehensive dental treatment.


Thirty children with S-ECC were matched with 30 caries-free children from middle income families with college-educated working mothers. Early-morning saliva samples were collected from the children using the passive drool method. Post-treatment saliva samples were collected 3 months after completion of treatment in the S-ECC group. Salivary cortisol levels were analysed using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.


Salivary cortisol levels of caries-free children were significantly lower than both the pre-treatment and post-treatment levels of children with S-ECC (F = 26.221, p < 0.0001). The pre-treatment cortisol levels of children with S-ECC were significantly higher than the post-treatment levels (t = 2.588, p = 0.015). No significant differences in cortisol levels were observed between genders or between children treated over multiple visits under local analgesia and in a single visit under general anaesthesia.


Dental treatment significantly reduced the salivary cortisol levels of children with S-ECC, however, the post-treatment levels remained significantly higher than those of caries-free children.


Early childhood caries Salivary cortisol Dental treatment 


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Paediatric and Preventive DentistryRiyadh Colleges of Dentistry and PharmacyRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Riyadh Military HospitalRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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