Salivary proteins, enzymes, immunoglobulins, ions, DNA, and mRNA are useful biomarkers for the detection of periodontal diseases.26,27 Increased levels of salivary interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) have been associated with higher risk to or increased severity of existing periodontal diseases.28-30 Some biomarkers are related to host immune responses to microbial infection.1,32
Salivary MMP-2,-8, and MMP-9 levels are significantly elevated in periodontal diseases due to neutrophil collagenase.26,33 Salivary IgG, cathepsin (an enzyme that degrades proteins) and osteocalcin (a non-collagenous protein secreted by osteoblasts) are significantly elevated in patients with periodontal diseases.34 Currently available point-of-care salivary diagnostics include MyPerioID®, MyPerioPath®, and Electronic Taste Chips Technology.8
MyPerioID® (OralDNA® Labs, Eden Prairie, MN) uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to help identify persons with genetic susceptibility to periodontal diseases. MyPerioPath® (OralDNA® Labs, Eden Prairie, MN) helps to identify the type and concentration of specific bacteria that are known to cause periodontal diseases. Electronic Taste Chips (Rice University, Houston, TX), a programmable Bio-Nano-Chip (p-BNC) technology, may be used to identify salivary biomarkers specific for periodontal disease.