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Emyli Peralta , University of Central Florida Follow Abstract Introduction: According to the World Health Organization, dental cavities are the number one chronic disease in children. Saliva coats the teeth all day and can serve many functions to maintain and protect teeth. Saliva has many proteins that can be both detrimental and essential to the preservation of tooth enamel. The purpose of this study is to determine if a correlation exists between the total protein concentration in saliva and the prevalence of cavities in the mouth. We hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation with total salivary protein concentration and the prevalence of cavities in the participant. Methods: Saliva samples were taken from the patient during their comprehensive exam at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Dental Center and were analyzed using the DC assay to determine the protein concentration in the saliva. These results were compared to the number of cavities found in the mouth of each patient to determine if a correlation exists between protein concentration and cavity number. Results: The correlation between the variables was fairly weak, indicating that the data from this study does not support a correlation between salivary protein concentration and cavity number. Discussion: Future research should look at specific salivary proteins, control the time of day of collection, and take into account more variables in order to get a more precise study. Thesis Completion



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