Imagine yourself going to the dentist one day and besides having the benefit of teeth taken care of, you could give a saliva sample and in a couple of minutes you’re told if you are at risk or have a systemic disease present .
Does this sound too good to be true?
Well…..DNA in one cell type is a reflection of DNA throughout the body. You can use the cells from inside of the mouth to look at genetic characteristics that might reflect diseases in organs far away from mouth.
Experts in the field indicate that almost anything that can be measured in the blood can be measured in saliva.
Saliva is universally available for sampling without pain or an invasive procedure. Drawing blood or urine has a number of difficulties in various patients with special needs.
From disease in the oral cavity to the systemic ones, saliva well may prove itself as the final diagnostic frontier for early detection of all kinds of conditions. Most people would prefer it if given a choice.
As we now know, there are three diseases in the oral cavity that can be detected by the saliva: cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Many airborne viral diseases can be found in the saliva as well.
Research centers are investigating markers present in the saliva for systemic diseases. Some of these are cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, pancreatic cancer and pulmonary disease.
A recent study is also using a saliva test to detect myocardial infarction.
Until the scientific community fully understands how a disease as pancreatic cancer can convey its biomarker into the mouth and made a valuable way to diagnose, the salivary diagnostic will only to remain a curiosity and will not be accepted as a credible tool for systemic disease detection.
But, don’t forget! We have available the DNA test for oral cancer detection.