HIPPOKRATIA, vol.18, no.3, pp.269-274, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Background: Acetaldehyde has been implicated as a major factor in oral carcinogenesis associated with alcohol consumption. In this study, saliva samples from oral cancer patients and healthy individuals were incubated in vitro with ethanol in order to investigate factors which can influence salivary acetaldehyde production.
Materials and methods: A total of 66 individuals (40 males and 26 females, mean age 52 years) participated in the study. Participants were classified into three groups: Group 1 (oral cancer patients [n = 20]); Group 2 (poor dental health status [n = 25]) and Group 3 (good dental health status [n=21]). Every patient chewed a 1g piece of paraffin chewing gum for 1 minute then saliva samples were collected from all individuals. After in vitro incubation of the samples with ethanol, the levels of salivary acetaldehyde production was measured by head space gas chromatography. Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests and Spearman's Correlations analysis were performed for statistical analyses.
Results: The salivary acetaldehyde production was significantly higher (p <0.0001) in both group 1 and group 2 when compared to group 3. However, there was no significant difference between group 1 and group 2. Poor dental health status, infrequent oral hygiene habits and dental visits, smoking and presence of a dental prosthesis were significant parameters for increased levels of salivary acetaldehyde production from alcohol. The evaluation of salivary acetaldehyde production after in vitro incubation with ethanol may be useful for early detection of oral cancer.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, the significantly higher levels of salivary acetaldehyde production in oral cancer patients and individuals with poor dental health status may suggest a possible link between increased salivary acetaldehyde production and oral cancer. Improved oral hygiene can effectively decrease the level of salivary acetaldehyde production in oral cavity. Hippokratia 2014; 18 (3): 269-274.
Keywords: Oral cancer; dental health status; oral hygiene; salivary acetaldehyde production.