Background: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a common health problem in the developing countries. Basic knowledge about the etiology and pathogenesis of ECC plays an important role in its prevention.
Objective: To determine the relationship between salivary TLR-2 concentration and early childhood caries formation
Methods: Twenty-Eight children with ages ranging from 36 to 71 months (15 in ECC group and 13 in caries free group) were chosen based on inclusion criteria. Their saliva was aspirated in the volumes of 1-2 ml. Resampling was done for 8 subjects of ECC group 3 months after dental restoration. TLR-2 concentration was measured using ELISA.
Results: Mean concentrations of TLR-2 in ECC and caries free group were 2.12 and 1.42 ng/ml, respectively. The difference between concentrations was statistically significant (p=0.008). Three months after treatment in 8 ECC, the mean concentration of TLR-2 (0.925 ng/ml) significantly decreased compared to the original concentration in ECC (p<0.001) and caries free groups (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Elevated concentration of TLR-2 in ECC group compared to caries free group and its decrease after treatment point to the participation of innate immune system and specially TLR-2 in the pathogenesis of early childhood caries.