Open Access Research article

Levels of salivary immunoglobulins and periodontal evaluation in smoking patients

Maria Rita Giuca1, Marco Pasini1, Simona Tecco2*, Giacomo Giuca3 and Giuseppe Marzo3

Author Affiliations

1 Dipartimento di Patologia Chirurgica, Medica, Molecolare e dell’Area Critica, University of Pisa, Via Savi 10, Pisa IT 56126, Italy

2 University of L’Aquila, School of Orthodontics, Pescara, Via Le Mainarde 26, Pescara IT 65124, Italy

3 Department MeSVA, University of L’Aquila, Edificio Delta 6, Coppito, L’Aquila IT 67010, Italy

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BMC Immunology 2014, 15:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-15-5

Published: 6 February 2014



The aim of this study was to assess the level of salivary immunoglobulins and periodontal status in smokers and non-smokers.

Materials and methods

Unstimulated saliva of 30 subjects (mean age 24.2 ± 3.5 years) who were smokers (test group) and of 30 subjects (mean age 25.3 ± 3.8 years) who were non-smokers (control group) was collected and centrifugated; IgA, IgG, and IgM were measured with the colorimetric immunoenzymatic method. Moreover, the following periodontal clinical parameters were recorded for each subject: plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), probing depth (PD), and clinical attachment level (CAL).


A significantly (p< 0.05) lower Ig level was observed in smoking patients (IgA: 20.0 ± 1.2 mg/dl; IgM: 19.5 ± 1.6 mg/dl; IgG: 8.1 ± 1.4 mg/dl) compared to levels in the non-smoking control group (IgA: 234.1 ± 65.2 mg/dl; IgM: 121.0 ± 31.7 mg/dl; IgG: 1049.4 ± 102 mg/dl). In the test group, PI (2.2 ± 0.3), GI (2.4 ±0.5), PD (49.3 ± 9.2%), and CAL (49.3 ± 4.6%) were higher (p< 0.05) than those observed in the control group (PI: 0.8 ± 0.4; GI: 0.7 ± 0.3; PD: 10.6 ± 2.4%; CAL: 3.1 ± 0.8%).


Smoking subjects showed lower levels of salivary IgA, IgG, and IgM and a worse periodontal condition than non-smoking subjects. On the base of our study, as smoking subjects also had lower levels of IgA, IgG, and IgM in their saliva than non-smoking subjects, despite the fact that there is little evidence that the salivary Igs have a protective action against periodontitis and that the whole saliva does not result in whole from the salivary glands, it can be concluded that the deteriorated periodontal health conditions of these patients can be attributed in part to a lowering of the host’s defense due to a decrease in the quantity of Igs in salivary fluid.