Document Type: Original Article(s)
Postgraduate Student, Department of Periodontia, Mathrusri Ramabai Ambedkar Dental College, Bengaluru, India
Professor and Head, Nitte (Deemed to be University), AB Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Mangalore, India
BACKGROUND AND AIM: The prevalence of tobacco use and its associated mortality is increasing worldwide. Biomarkers in saliva, such as thiocyanate levels, have been shown to be a suitable indicator for smoking. The present study is conducted to determine the thiocyanate levels in saliva and compare them among tobacco (smoking and smokeless) users, passive smokers, and non-smokers.
METHODS: A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted on 100 patients attending a dental college in South India. The patients were inquired about their tobacco habits and were divided into 4 groups: smokers (25), passive smokers (25), smokeless tobacco users (25), non-users (25). Saliva samples were collected from subjects in sterile containers, and thiocyanate levels were estimated. The results were tabulated and analyzed using SPSS software. Kruskal-Wallis test was used for the intergroup comparison of salivary thiocyanate levels. Mann-Whitney U test was used for the pairwise group comparison. If P < 0.0500, the results were reported to be statistically significant.
RESULTS: The results of the study showed that the salivary thiocyanate level was 79.46 ± 7.80, 50.16 ± 6.87, 50.16 ± 13.83, and 36.61 ± 5.84 mmol/l among smokers, passive smokers, smokeless tobacco users, and non-users, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference in salivary thiocyanate levels among various groups (P ≤ 0.0001). All pairwise comparisons showed statistical significance (P ≤ 0.0001) except the comparison between the passive smokers and smokeless tobacco users groups (P ≤ 0.9200).
CONCLUSION: Salivary thiocyanate may be a diagnostic biomarker for differentiating tobacco users from the non-users.