Objective: To compare a limited array of chewing-stimulated saliva features (salivary flow, pH and buffer capacity) in a sample of elderly Mexicans with clinical, socio-demographic and socio-economic variables.
Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 139 adults, 60 years old and older, from two retirement homes and a senior day care centre in the city of Pachuca, Mexico. Socio-demographic, socio-economic and behavioural variables were collected through a questionnaire. A trained and standardized examiner obtained the oral clinical variables. Chewing-stimulated saliva (paraffin method) was collected and the salivary flow rate, pH and buffer capacity were measured. The analysis was performed using non-parametric tests in STATA 9.0.
Results: Mean age was 79.1 ± 9. 8 years. Most of the subjects included were women (69.1 %). Mean chewing-stimulated salivary flow was 0.75 ± 0.80 mL/minute, and the pH and buffer capacity were 7.88 ± 0.83 and 4.20 ± 1.24, respectively. Mean chewing-stimulated salivary flow varied (p < 0.05) across type of retirement home, tooth brushing frequency, number of missing teeth and use of dental prostheses. PH varied across the type of retirement home (p < 0.05) and marginally by age (p = 0.087); buffer capacity (p < 0.05) varied across type of retirement home, tobacco consumption and the number of missing teeth.
Conclusions: These exploratory data added to the body of knowledge with regard to chewing-stimulated salivary features (salivary flow rate, pH and buffer capacity) and outlined the variability of those features across selected socio-demographic, socio-economic and behavioral variables in a group of Mexican elders.