Background: Early childhood caries (ECC) is a severe type of dental caries affecting infants and pre-school children. Because of the infectious nature of the disease, the immunologic response by the host plays an essential role in its development.
Objective: This study investigated the association between the presence of salivary sCD14 and ECC.
Methods: This study was carried out on 40 healthy children, of whom 20 were caries-free (CF) and 20 had ECC, within the ages of 36 to 71 months. Unstimulated saliva of the children was collected with disposable needle-less syringe from buccal and labial vestibules. Seven children with ECC received complete treatments. Saliva was collected for a second time after 3 months from this group. The sCD14 levels in salivary samples were analyzed by ELISA method.
Results: Mean concentrations of sCD14 in ECC and CF groups were 57.82 and 31.92 ng/ml respectively (p=0.008). After three months, the mean concentration of sCD14 among the treated children decreased to 11.38 ng/ml, which was significantly lower compared to that of ECC children before intervention (p<0.001), and also CF children (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The increased levels of sCD14 can be considered as a marker of inflammation and innate immune response during ECC.