Saliva To Diagnose and Screen For Systemic Diseases


Saliva Introduction:

Saliva plays an important role in the day-to-day functions of bodily systems; from helping fight bacteria all the way too aiding in digestion. Saliva is able to do these vast functions because it is composed of may different components; from antimicrobial agents like lysozyme all the way to glycoproteins useful in breaking down food. Recently, the area of monitoring saliva to assess an individual’s health, has become more main stream. ‘It is possible with only a small sample of saliva to determine emotional, disease, nutritional, and metabolic disturbances in an individual.’ This can all be done with a small collection of saliva! It is thought that in the future dental practices or your dentist will be placed on the front line to monitoring patients saliva to determine any health risks. Below are some of the key highlighted roles saliva may prove useful in identifying risks;

Disease which Salivary Diagnostics Can Play A Role:

Infections:

On unique aspect to monitor saliva is to determine if there are infections outside of the mouth. For example, one infection which saliva may prove useful is detecting for gastric ulcer. Certain proteins have been found to be affected by bacteria such as H. pylori which is commonly associated with gastric ulcers.

Cancer:

Importance of Saliva

Salivary analysis may be useful in detecting and monitoring cancer. Not only isolated to detecting oral cancer, but saliva testing may reveal more distant cancers such as lung, prostate or ovarian cancer.

Cardiovascular Diseases:

Interestingly saliva may be useful in very accurate diagnostics information on an individual’s heart. Depending on the different levels of saliva’s properties it is possible to determine a risk profile for heart disease or attacks.

Diabetes:

Depending on an individual’s diabetic control, it is possible to determine through saliva if there is any unbalance. For example if the blood glucose levels not within the norm the body will produce higher levels of certain components and lower levels of others.

Reference

Rai B (2016) Chairside Diagnosis of Systemic Diseases: Dentists and Dental Profession. COHN