Oral Biology Research Profile

C. Dawes
B.Sc., B.D.S. (Manc), Ph.D. (Durh).
Professor Emeritus

colin_dawes@umanitoba.ca

Currently Dr. C. Dawes is not accepting new graduate students

Saliva and Oral Health

My primary research interest is in the role of saliva in oral and general health. We have studied many of the physiological factors which affect salivary flow rate and composition, the role of saliva in oral clearance, particularly of sugars and of bacteria, the influence of salivary flow rate and composition on the metabolism and pH of dental plaque, the relation between the volume of saliva in the mouth and the sensation of oral dryness, the effect of gum chewing on salivary flow rate and composition, and factors influencing the composition of plaque fluid, the fluid phase of dental plaque. 

We showed that saliva is present in the mouth as a thin film, less than 0.1 mm in thickness, which moves at different velocities in different regions of the mouth (0.8 - 8 mm/min when salivary flow is unstimulated). The more slowly the film of saliva moves over dental plaque, the less readily can bacterial metabolites, such as acid, be cleared from the plaque. We have also shown great site-specificity in the rate of clearance of sugar from the mouth. These findings help to explain the site-specificity of both smooth-surface dental caries and supragingival calculus deposition.

More recently, as a member of an international group formed by the World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI, I have been involved in a systematic review of salivary dysfunction, which has led to the publication of several manuscripts

Relevant publications

  • Siqueira WL, Dawes C (2011). The salivary proteome: challenges and perspectives. Proteomics Clin Appl 5:575-579.
  • Dawes C (2012). Factors influencing salivary flow rate and composition. In: Saliva and Oral Health. M. Edgar, C. Dawes, and D. O'Mullane, Eds., 4th edition. Stephen Hancocks Ltd., London. Chap. 3, pp. 37-55.
  • Dawes C (2012). Salivary clearance and its effects on oral health. In: Saliva and Oral Health. M. Edgar, C. Dawes, and D. O'Mullane, Eds., 4th edition. British Dental Association, London. Chap. 5, pp. 81-96.
  • Dawes C (2014). Invited commentary on an article by Poon et al. Reduction in unstimulated salivary flow rate in burning mouth syndrome. Brit Dent J 217:364-5.
  • Aliko A, Wolff A, Dawes C, Aframiam D, Procter GB, Ekstöm J, Narayana N, Villa A, Sia YW, Joshi RK, McGowan R, Jensen SB, Kerr A, Pedersen AML, Vissink A. (2015) World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI: Clinical implications of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 120:185-206.
  • Dawes C, Pedersen AML, Villa A, Ekström J, Proctor GB, Vissink A, Aframian D, McGowan R, Aliko A, Narayana N, Sia YW, Joshi RK, Jensen SB, Kerr AR, Wolff A. (2015) The functions of saliva: a review sponsored by the World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI. Arch Oral Biol 60:863-874.
  • Villa A, Wolff A, Aframian D, Vissink A, Ekström J, Proctor GB, McGowan R, Narayana N, Aliko A, Sia YW, Joshi RK, Jensen SB, Kerr AR, Dawes C, Pedersen AML. (2015) World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI: A systematic review of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction: prevalence, diagnosis and treatment. Clin Oral Invest 19:1563-1580.
  • Dawes C. Letter to the Editor re: Wang et al. Arch. Oral. Biol. (2015) 60: 385-392. Arch Oral Biol. 2016;61:83.
  • Villa A, Wolff A, Nagamani N, Dawes C, Aframian D, Pedersen AML, Vissink A, Aliko A, Sia YW, Joshi RK, McGowan R, Jensen SB, Kerr A, Ekström J, Proctor G. (2016) World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI: A systematic review of medication-induced salivary gland dysfunction. Oral Dis 22:365-382.
  • Wolff A, Joshi RK, Ekström J, Aframian D, Pedersen AML, Proctor G, Narayana N, Villa A, Sia YW, Aliko A, McGowan R, Kerr R, Jensen SB, Vissink A, Dawes C. A guide to medications inducing salivary gland dysfunction, xerostomia and subjective sialorrhea: A systematic review sponsored by the World Workshop on Oral Medicine VI. Drugs in R&D (In press).