Saliva as a Diagnostic Fluid

Gland-specific saliva can be used to diagnose pathoses specific to one of the major salivary glands. Whole saliva may be used to monitor drug and hormone levels, and to diagnose a number of oral and systemic conditions, e.g., hereditary disorders, autoimmune diseases, malignancies, and infectious diseases (OraQuick Advance® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test, Orasure Diagnostics. Bethlehem, PA). A comprehensive review of the advantages, disadvantages, and problems associated with the use of saliva as a diagnostic fluid is presented elsewhere.18,20,21

Salivary diagnostics, using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, may also help to identify individuals with genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease (MyPerioID®, OralDNA® Labs, Eden Prairie, MN) and may help to identify the type and concentration of specific bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease (MyPerioPath®, OralDNA® Labs, Eden Prairie, MN).22 Another salivary diagnostic test available may help identify the presence and type(s) of oral human papilloma virus (OralRisk® HPV, OralDNA® Labs, Eden Prairie, MN).23