Cortisol daily rhythm in saliva of healthy school children

Ch Tzortzi, P. Proff, M. Redlich, D. J. Aframian, A. Palmon, I. Golan, D. Muessig, A. Wichelhaus, Uwe Baumert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Aim: To investigate the daily rhythm of cortisol levels in saliva of school children. Subjects and methods: Probands (10-14 years, both genders) were recruited via personal contact and school visits. Exclusion criteria included hormonal and dental treatments during the trial, pharmaceuticals containing cortisol, or poor oral hygiene. Each volunteer collected 20 saliva samples during one day at defined times starting immediately after waking up and ending at night. Additionally, they completed a sampling diary. Saliva samples were analysed in duplicate using a commercial cortisol luminescence kit. Results: Cortisol concentration in saliva followed a daily rhythm. Within 20 minutes after waking up cortisol reached the highest level of 9.69 (±3.89) nmol/L. After 90 minutes cortisol concentration decreased linearly by 50% and stagnated at 4.14 (±1.93) nmol/L for 3 to 8 hours. There-after, levels decreased gradually reaching almost zero after 14 hours. Overall, no gender-specific differences in saliva cortisol levels were observed except for 3 time points: 3, 10 and 11 hours after waking. Conclusion: This study establishes guidelines for a normal secretion pattern, plus explores pain level measurements and their correlation to saliva cortisol levels in this age group.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Cortisol
  • Dental care
  • Pain
  • Saliva


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