Saliva composition and caries development in asthmatic patients treated with beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists: a 4-year follow-up study

Scand J Dent Res. 1991 Jun;99(3):212-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0722.1991.tb01887.x.


In an earlier study, we found that chronic treatment with beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists in asthmatic subjects gave an impaired saliva secretion and a higher caries prevalence than in healthy controls. Twenty-one of the asthmatics and their matched controls were examined 4 yr later in a follow-up study. Samples of whole saliva stimulated by chewing and parotid saliva stimulated by citric acid were collected and dental caries was scored. In the asthmatic group the secretory rates of stimulated whole and parotid saliva decreased by 20% and 35%, respectively, compared to the control group. The number of lactobacilli increased. The asthmatic subjects had a decreased output per minute of total protein, amylase, hexosamine, salivary peroxidase, lysozyme, secretory IgA, a bacteria-aggregating glycoprotein, potassium, and calcium in stimulated parotid saliva. Initial and manifest caries lesions as well as the number of DFS were significantly increased in the asthma group. We conclude that asthmatic patients treated with beta 2-adrenoceptor agonists have an increased caries susceptibility due to an impaired saliva secretion caused by the use of beta-adrenergic agonists.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • DMF Index
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Incidence
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Saliva / enzymology
  • Saliva / metabolism
  • Saliva / microbiology
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides / analysis
  • Secretory Rate
  • Terbutaline / therapeutic use*


  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides
  • Terbutaline
  • Albuterol