Objective: Although progress has been made to reduce opportunistic infection of fungi in the oral cavity, the prevalence of denture stomatitis associated with Candida has increased. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of denture cleaning frequencies, age and smoking habit on the levels of Candida species in the saliva of patients wearing removable partial or complete dentures. Methods: Subjects wearing removable partial or complete dentures were recruited. A questioner was used to collect information on oral hygiene habits and smoking. Saliva samples were collected by oral rinse technique in a sterile container and cultured in duplicate Sabouraud Dextrose Agar. The numbers of colonies were determined by aCOLyte colony counter and the number expressed as a colony forming unit (CFU). The CFU and clinical data were analyzed for correlation and the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to determine statistically significant differences. Results: Among 99 subjects recruited, 47 were wearing complete dentures and 28 were smokers. The brushing frequencies were once (37 subjects), twice (39 subjects) and three times (23 subjects) per day. CFU was significantly higher in partial denture wearers than complete denture wearers and the brushing frequencies significantly correlated with CFU (r =-0.85, P= 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in CFU between smokers and non-smokers and no correlation of CFU with age was found. Conclusions: This quantitative study has suggested that there are statistically significant differences in the levels of Candida in the saliva of subjects with different brushing frequencies and wearing a different type of denture. However, no statistically significant difference was noticed between smokers and non-smokers, and there was no significant correlation between CFU and age.

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