ALEXANDRU SITARU, ADRIAN TOHATI, ANCA MARIA POP, CRISTINA BICA CORRELATION BETWEEN THE SALIVARY LEVEL OF ALPHA-AMYLASE AND THE RISK FOR DENTAL CARIES IN YOUNG PERMANENT TEETH Human saliva is a complex mixture of fluids considered to have a real potential in maintaining the dental health, carrying out important functions in the local modulation of inflammatory reactions and immune response. The biologic properties of salivary alpha-amylase are a subject of intense debate in the scientific literature, regarding its use as a biomarker for local and systemic diseases, including caries lesions. The purpose of our study was to measure the correlation between the salivary level of alpha-amylase and the incidence of caries in a group of children with young permanent teeth. A total of 128 participants were included in four study groups according to presence or absence of dental caries, based on specific inclusion/exclusion criteria and a scoring system between 0-5, depending on gender and the number of caries lesions. From each patient, 10 mL of saliva was collected and examined with a spectrophotometer in order to determine the level of salivary alpha-amylase. The collected data were statistically analyzed with the GraphPad Prism 7.03 and Mann-Whitneytest, a value of p <0.05 being considered statistically significant. Our results showed that caries active children had higher levels of salivary enzyme compared to caries free groups (p=0.001). Therefore, we concluded that salivary alpha-amylase can be considered a biomarker for the prognosis of dental caries development, offering new perspectives for preventive dentistry.