Objective: To estimate the level of salivary superoxide dismutase, To determine the differences in the level of salivary superoxide dismutase among tobacco chewers, smokers, combined users and non-tobacco users, To evaluate alteration in the levels of SOD in association with patient age, tobacco usage (smokeless, smokers & combined users) duration and frequency, also to see the prevalence of common oral mucosal lesions among the study groups. Methods: Saliva samples are collected randomly from eighty patients (aged 20–60 years) after taking complete demographic details and habit history and signed informed consent who visited the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology. The SOD levels were analysed using spectrophotometric method. Results: Among 80 study samples, Group 4 (non-tobacco users) had a higher mean score of SOD levels 2.28 followed by group 1(smokers) with a mean score 1.53, group 2(smokeless tobacco users) with a mean of 1.47 and the least SOD level was seen in case of Group 3(Smokeless and smokers) with a mean score of 1.18. The salivary SOD levels had a statistically significant negative correlation with age (- 0.364**) of the patients, duration (-0.786**) and frequency (-0.735**) (** Correlation is significant at 0.01 level) of tobacco use among patients which signifies that with a gradual increase in the age, duration and frequency of tobacco use there is a downfall of the salivary super oxide dismutase levels. Study subjects consuming tobacco in both smokeless as well as smoking forms had a higher mean score of oral mucosal lesions, the most common being tobacco pouch keratosis (40%), for smokeless forms tobacco pouch keratosis followed by OSMF was more common, in case of smokers smoker’s palate was more common followed by leukoplakia, whereas no such premalignant lesions were assessed among non-tobacco users. There is no significant statistical difference in the level of SOD among the gender. Conclusion: The current study suggests that there is a reduction in the level of salivary superoxide dismutase enzyme level among tobacco users with increased frequency and duration of the habit as compared to non-tobacco users, also a weak reduction in the SOD enzyme was noted with the increase in age. Study subjects consuming tobacco in both smokeless as well as smoking forms had a higher mean score of oral mucosal lesions, the most common being tobacco pouch keratosis.
Key words: Antioxidant, Oro-mucosal lesions, Salivary superoxide dismutase, Saliva, Tobacco.