Purpose: This study aims to determine the relation of salivary LL37 level and mutans streptococci levels in early childhood caries (ECC). Study design: A case-control study was performed in children ≤71 months old. Unstimulated whole saliva was collected and the level of salivary LL37 was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The mutans streptococci oral bacteria were isolated from saliva and identified using a modified SB-20 culture medium (SB-20M). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, bivariate, and Spearman’s rank correlation analysis. Results: The was a variability of salivary LL37 level among the children and the level was significantly associated with age and races. The median (IQR) value of salivary LL37 in caries-free (CF) children was significantly higher 393.50 (580.55) ng/mL compared to 172.50 (234.65) ng/mL in the ECC group. The ECC children exhibited a significantly higher count of S. mutans and S. sobrinus compared to the CF children. An inverse weak correlation between salivary LL37 and dmft was also observed. Conclusions: The low salivary LL37 level and higher S. mutans and S. sobrinus count in ECC supported the protective role of salivary LL37 against dental caries. Further studies are required to explore the definite relation between salivary LL37 levels and dental caries.

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