Aim: To investigate the relationship between caries etiological factors and occurrence of severe caries among adults in Kuwait. Methods: Forty-two adult patients with severe caries, attending Kuwait polyclinics, were compared with 36 caries-free subjects in a cross-sectional study. The patients with severe caries were aged 16 years or older and had a minimum of eight open coronal carious cavities, with the involvement of at least one anterior tooth. In addition, their salivary glands had not been compromised by disease or medication. The caries-free subjects had at least 24 standing teeth, and no carious cavities. Salivary flow rates, buffering capacity, frequency of sugar consumption, and oral hygiene index were measured. Mutans streptococci and Lactobacillus counts were determined by the dip-slide method. Results: Fisher's exact test or χ2 test showed that the patients with severe caries had a significantly higher frequency of sugar consumption, plaque index, Lactobacillus and mutans streptococci counts, as compared with those who were caries-free. In contrast, no significant difference was observed in salivary flow rates or buffering capacity between the two groups of patients. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, only frequency of sugar consumption, oral hygiene, and mutans streptococci count were found to be significantly associated with the occurrence of severe caries. Conclusion: Severe caries may occur in Kuwait even among adults whose salivary gland functions have not been compromised.
- Caries, severe