Effect of Age on Flow-Rate, Protein and Electrolyte Composition of Stimulated Whole Saliva in Healthy, Non-Smoking Women

Liisi Sevón1, * , Merja A Laine1, Sára Karjalainen2, Anguelina Doroguinskaia1, Hans Helenius3, Endre Kiss4, Marjo Lehtonen-Veromaa5
1 Department of Periodontology, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Finland
2 Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry, University of Turku, Finland
3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Turku, Finland
4 Department of Periodontology, University of Szeged, Hungary
5 Public Health Center of Raisio, Finland

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© Sevón et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Dentistry, University of Turku, Lemminkäisenkatu 2, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland, Tel: + 358-2-333 8335, Fax: + 358-2-333 8356; E-mail:


As relatively little is known about the effect of age on salivary electrolytes we studied the composition of saliva as function of age to provide reference values for healthy non-smoking women. All non-medicated and non-smoking 30-59-year-old subjects (n=255) selected from among 1030 women participating in a screening program formed the material of the present study. Salivary calcium, inorganic phosphate, magnesium, sodium, potassium, protein and flow-rate of stimulated whole saliva were measured. We found age-related changes in salivary calcium and phosphate concentrations (p=0.001 and p=0.004, respectively, one-way ANOVA). Peak values occurred at around 50-54 years of age. Age had no effect on flow-rate, magnesium, sodium, potassium or proteins. The concentration of sodium correlated positively, while phosphate, potassium, magnesium and protein correlated negatively with the salivary flow-rate. Calcium was the only electrolyte which had no association with flow-rate. Our study provides reference values for salivary electrolytes of 30-59-year-old women.

Key Words: Salivary electrolytes, age, reference values.