Bacterial levels and amount of endotoxins in carious dentin within reversible pulpitis scenarios
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Objectives: the objective of the present exploratory study was to determine bacterial diversity and endotoxin levels in deep carious lesions of teeth presenting symptoms of reversible pulpitis. Materials and methods: Twenty patients with deep carious lesions, reporting clinical symptomatology compatible with reversible pulpitis (n = 10) or not reporting clinical symptomatology (n = 10), were selected. Carious dentin samples were obtained with the aid of sterile and pyrogen-free spoon excavators and harvested in two steps: before and after infected dentin removal. Samples were collected for checkerboard and for kinetic chromogenic LAL assay for determination of microbial profile and quantitation of endotoxin, respectively. Data were analyzed by Mann Whitney for bacteria and two-way ANOVA for endotoxins (5%). Results: No difference on the studied bacteria was detected between the superficial and deep dentin layers. Symptomatic teeth showed greater presence of Lactobacillus species, Capnocytophaga sputigena, and Leptotrichia buccalis. For the endotoxins, symptomatic teeth resulted in greater quantity of endotoxins (p = 0.047), being 4.13 log10 EU/mL/μg dentin and 3.45 log10 EU/mL/μg dentin, for symptomatic and asymptomatic teeth, respectively. Dentin collected in different areas presented similar number of endotoxins (p = 0.139). Conclusion: The amount of the studied bacteria does not seem to be related to reported symptomatology of deep carious lesions, while endotoxins quantity is greater in symptomatic scenarios, regardless of the harvesting area. Clinical relevance: The understanding of bacterial amount in reversible pulpitis is important to establish a clinical protocol of treatment.
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