Congenital cardiac disease is one of the most common developmental anomalies in children. Higher caries prevalence and gingivitis compared to healthy children have been shown in children with congenital heart disease which has a significant implication in the medical care of these patients associated with bacteraemia and endocarditis. Sialic acids being terminal sugar components and marker of chronic inflammatory response are found to be present at higher levels in children with poor oral health status. So the present study aimed to evaluate the oral health status and salivary sialic acid levels among the children with congenital heart disease and normal healthy siblings. A total of 71 children with heart diseases aged 6-10 years attending various heart institutes were examined for oral hygiene status, gingival status and dental caries status by using modified WHO oral assessment form. A case-matched control group of 50 children were also examined. Salivary flow rate, pH and sialic acid levels were measured after saliva collection. The results were subjected to Unpaired t test and Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient Test.
The salivary pH, salivary flow rate, dental caries status, oral hygiene and the gingival status were significantly compromised with a positive correlation with the sialic acid levels in saliva, leading to increased treatment needs in the study group. Therefore the amount of sialic acid in the saliva can be a useful index of the severity of oral disease.