Evaluation of salivary catalase, vitamin C, and alpha‐amylase in smokers and non‐smokers: a retrospective cohort study

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There are at least 4000 different compounds in cigarette smoke such as nicotine, ammonia, acrolein, phenols, acetaldehyde, N‐nitrosamine, benzopyrene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, trace metals, polonium, radium, and thorium 1. Cigarette smoke is a major exogenous source of free radicals as well as non‐radical oxidants 1. Cigarette smoke may cause different severe disease 3. It also has deleterious effects on the oral mucosa 4.
Smoking is a major global public health problem. Oral squamous cell carcinoma is 4–7 times more prevalent in cigarette smokers 5. Peroxide–antioxidant imbalance leads to oxidative stress, potentially damaging DNA, proteins, lipids, and cells 6. Smoking also correlates with oxidative stress and DNA damage, causing cancers and other diseases. All the body fluids and tissues have antioxidants that stabilize or deactivate and protect against free radicals 6.
Saliva is the first biological fluid to come into contact with external materials, foods, drinks, and inhaled cigarette smoke 7.
Two types of antioxidants exist in the body and saliva: enzymatic antioxidants such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and glutathione peroxidase and non‐enzymatic antioxidants or diet supplements and small molecules such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and uric acid 8. However, very limited studies have evaluated saliva. Unstimulated whole saliva has a higher concentration of antioxidants than stimulated individual salivary gland secretions 5.
Whole saliva is better for salivary antioxidants because it is composed of gingival crevicular fluid, salivary gland secretions and components from non‐salivary origin in the oral cavity immune cells and tissue metabolites 1.
Saliva and its defense system such as antioxidants seems to play an important role in destructive effects, different diseases and oral mucosal lesions related to cigarette smoking. To the best of our knowledge, very limited case–control investigations have been performed on salivary antioxidative changes in smoking 3.
Therefore, we assessed the effect of cigarette smoke on saliva catalase, vitamin C, and α‐amylase levels in smokers in comparison with non‐smokers.
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