THE IMMEDIATE TERM EFFECT OF CHEWING COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE MESWAK (SALVADORA PERSICA) ON LEVELS OF CALCIUM, CHLORIDE, PHOSPHATE AND THIOCYANATE IN WHOLE SALIVA
Keywords:meswak, calcium, chloride, phosphate, thiocyanate, saliva, oral health
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of chewing commercially available meswak may have on levels of calcium, chloride, phosphate and thiocyanate in stimulated whole saliva. A total of 20 subjects participated in the investigation. They were distributed into two groups. Those in group A (10 individuals) were asked to first chew on a cotton roll (sized #1) followed by the chewing of an equivalent sized 5mm piece of commercially available meswak. Subjects in group B (10 individuals) did the same but, chewed on cotton roll (sized #2) followed by the chewing of an equivalent sized 10mm piece of commercially available meswak. After following a specified chewing protocol, samples of stimulated whole saliva were collected into a graduated tube at the end of every chewing regime.
Calcium, chloride, phosphate and thiocyanate analysis were carried out using colour titration and spectrophotometer. Results from this investigation indicated that commercially available meswak chewing sticks apart from containing high amounts of calcium and chloride may possibly release phosphate and thiocyanate into whole saliva. These findings suggest that the commercially available meswak used as chewing sticks may have the potential of releasing substances into saliva that could influence the state of oral health. Further studies have to be carried out to ascertain the therapeutic benefits of chewing commercially available meswak.
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