CC BY 4.0 · Eur J Dent
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1768154
Original Article

Salivary IL-17 and IL-10 as Potential Diagnostic Biomarkers of Different Stages of Periodontitis in Smoker and Nonsmoker Patients

Maha Abdulsalam Mohammed
1   Department of Periodontology, College of Dentistry, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Raghad Fadhil Abbas
1   Department of Periodontology, College of Dentistry, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
1   Department of Periodontology, College of Dentistry, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Objectives The gold standard in the field of periodontal research currently is to find a valid biomarker that can reliably be used for diagnosing periodontal diseases. Given the limitations of the current diagnostic tools that stall to predict susceptible individuals and determine whether active tissue destruction is occurring, there is an increased urge to develop alternative diagnostic techniques that would compensate for the problems inherited in these available methods, such as measuring levels of biomarkers present in oral fluids such as saliva; so the aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic potential of interleukin-17 (IL-17) and IL-10 to differentiate periodontal health from smoker and nonsmoker periodontitis, and to differentiate among different stages (severities) of periodontitis.

Materials and Methods An observational case–control study was performed on 175 systemically healthy participants grouped into healthy as controls and periodontitis as cases. Periodontitis cases were divided according to the severity into stages I, II, and III, and each of the stages was further subdivided into smokers and nonsmokers patients. Unstimulated saliva samples were collected, clinical parameters were recorded, and salivary levels were assayed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results Elevated levels of IL-17 and IL-10 were associated with stage I and II compared with the healthy controls. However, a significant decrease in stage III was observed compared with the control group for both biomarkers.

Conclusion Salivary IL-17 and IL-10 might be useful for distinguishing periodontal health from periodontitis; however, further research is needed to substantiate their use as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of periodontitis

Strengths and Limitations of the Study

The strength aspect of the study lies in the relatively high number of study participants and their division into seven subcategories, taking into account cigarette smoking that is a common habit in society and a confirmed risk factor for periodontitis, thus, enabling the sample to become more representative of the population and giving more solidity to the results. Another important aspect is the use of ROC test for not only determining the sensitivity and specificity of the selected biomarkers but also comparing levels in health versus disease.

Limitations and future suggestions include using a multitude of biomarkers as this will improve the sensitivity and specificity, including gingivitis group in future studies is highly recommended, as well as including stage IV along with the incorporation of periodontitis grade.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee in College of Dentistry, the University of Baghdad in 19–1-2022, Ref. number: 451.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

The data illustrated in the study is available on request.

Publication History

Article published online:
12 May 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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