Veiko Vengerfeldt,1 Reet Mändar,2,3 Mare Saag,1 Anneli Piir,2 Tiiu Kullisaar2
1Institute of Dental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, 2Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, 3Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tartu, Estonia
Background: Apical periodontitis (AP) is an inflammatory disease affecting periradicular tissues. It is a widespread condition but its etiopathogenetic mechanisms have not been completely elucidated and the current treatment options are not always successful.
Purpose: To compare oxidative stress (OxS) levels in the saliva and the endodontium (root canal [RC] contents) in patients with different endodontic pathologies and in endodontically healthy subjects.
Patients and methods: The study group of this comparison study included 22 subjects with primary chronic apical periodontitis (pCAP), 26 with posttreatment or secondary chronic apical periodontitis (sCAP), eight with acute periapical abscess, 13 with irreversible pulpitis, and 17 healthy controls. Resting saliva samples were collected before clinical treatment. Pulp samples (remnants of the pulp, tooth tissue, and/or previous root filling material) were collected under strict aseptic conditions using the Hedström file. The samples were frozen to −80°C until analysis. OxS markers (myeloperoxidase [MPO], oxidative stress index [OSI], 8-isoprostanes [8-EPI]) were detected in the saliva and the endodontium.
Results: The highest MPO and 8-EPI levels were seen in pCAP and pulpitis, while the highest levels of OSI were seen in pCAP and abscess patients, as well as the saliva of sCAP patients. Controls showed the lowest OxS levels in both RC contents and saliva. Significant positive correlations between OxS markers, periapical index, and pain were revealed. Patients with pain had significantly higher OxS levels in both the endodontium (MPO median 27.9 vs 72.6 ng/mg protein, p=0.004; OSI 6.0 vs 10.4, p<0.001; 8-EPI 50.0 vs 75.0 pg/mL, p<0.001) and saliva (MPO 34.2 vs 117.5 ng/mg protein, p<0.001; 8-EPI 50.0 vs 112.8 pg/mL, p<0.001) compared to pain-free subjects.
Conclusion: OxS is an important pathomechanism in endodontic pathologies that is evident at both the local (RC contents) and systemic (saliva) level. OxS is significantly associated with dental pain and bone destruction.