Preliminary findings on the correlation of saliva pH, buffering capacity, flow rate and consistency in relation to waterpipe tobacco smoking

  • Mehdi Khemiss
  • Mohamed Ben Khelifa
  • Helmi Ben Saad
Keywords: Tobacco, narghile, shisha, hookah, oral health, hydrogen-ion concentration


The aim of the present comparative study was to compare some salivary characteristics between exclusive waterpipe smokers (EWPS) and non-smokers. 72 males (36 EWPS) were recruited. The volume of stimulated saliva was determined and divided by the duration of saliva collection. The pH was measured directly using a pH meter. The buffering capacity was determined using a quantitative method which involved the addition of 10 μl HCl. Up to a total of 160 μL was titrated up to obtain a pH titration curve. At 50 μL of titrated HCl, buffering capacity was ranked into three categories: high, medium and low. EWPS and nonsmoker groups had similar flow rates (1.81 ± 0.79 and 1.78 ± 1.14 mL min-1) and similar baseline pH (6.60 ± 0.37 and 6.76 ± 0.39). Statistically significant differences in the two groups’ pH were observed from 30 to 160 μL of titrated up HCl. At 50 μL of titrated up HCl, the EWPS group compared to the non-smoker group had a significantly higher pH (4.79 ± 0.72 vs. 5.32 ± 0.79). To conclude, waterpipe tobacco smoking alters the buffering capacity but does not alter either salivary flow rates or the baseline pH and consistency.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1819-6357
print ISSN: 1993-2820