SECRETION OF CALCIUM IN THE SALIVA OF LONG-TERM TOBACCO USERS
AbstractBackground: Secretion of calcium in saliva depends upon salivary flow rates in non-tobaccousers and greater is the rate, lower is the concentration and vice versa. In long-term tobacco usersthe taste receptors, a primary site for salivary secretion, are constantly exposed to tobacco for longtime thus presumably affecting the salivary reflex. Therefore the main purpose of the study was tostudy the secretion of calcium in the saliva of theses individuals. Methods: Subjects of the studywere divided into smokers, pan, (tobacco-betel-lime "quid") chewers, niswar (moist oral snuff)dippers and non-tobacco users as controls. Each group was comprised of 20 healthy male adults.The saliva of each subject was collected under resting condition and following application ofcrude nicotine and citric acid solutions to the tip of his tongue. Results: All groups of long-termtobacco users exhibited significantly higher concentrations of calcium before and after stimulationwhen compared with controls .However significant drop was observed in calcium levels of allgroups including controls after stimulation but this drop was more pronounced after stimulationwith citric acid than after stimulation with nicotine. Conclusion: We conclude that higher levelsof calcium are present in the saliva of long-term tobacco users than non users which decreases asthe flow of saliva increases.Key Words: Saliva, calcium, tobacco users.
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