Gaetano Isola1, Simona Santonocito1, Grazia Fichera1, Calogero Grillo2,Antonino Maniaci2,Paola Campagna3 ,Caterina Maria Grillo2
1Department of General Surgery and Surgical-Medical Specialties, School of Dentistry, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy - 2Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies G.f. Ingrassia, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy.
3Department of General Surgery and Medical Surgery Specialties University of Catania, 95100 Catania, Italy
Introduction: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disorder characterised by signs, symptoms and tissue damage induced by gastric contents. Few studies have investigated the association between soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity and GERD. Pepsin is one of the main components of reflux fluid. It may be found in saliva following reflux episodes. The aim of the study is to evaluate the correlation between the presence of pepsin in saliva and soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity in patients with GERD.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted in 100 adult patients with typical GERD symptoms. The salivary pepsin test (PEP test) was used to assess the presence of pepsin in saliva and, therefore, the diagnosis of GERD. The presence of possible soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity was evaluated by means of a dental examination.
Results: In 52% of the patients the PEP test was positive. Of these, 40% had soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity. The remaining 48% were negative in the PEP test and only 4% had soft tissue lesions of the oral cavity.
Conclusions: The results showed a positive correlation between the presence of pepsin and soft tissue lesions in the oral cavity. However, further investigation is necessary.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, Pepsin, Oral lesions.