They wanted to see to what extent can saliva tests help diagnosing both oral health and overall health issues.
The October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association featured an extra supplement where the UCLA School of Dentistry associate dean of research Dr. David Wong, talks about the current state of scientific research in the field of salivary diagnosis.
In this supplement, it is revealed that saliva is an extremely complex and very precious fluid containing plenty of genetic markers such as DNA, and genes but also proteins and RNA. All these ingredients help marking up the individual biological features of a person. Testing and studying of the biological molecules within saliva is part of a field called salivaomics.
After many years of research, and just as many years of working in collaboration, the UCLA scientists together with researchers from other institutions were able to come up with important statistics and informatics tools that allow interpreting these biomarkers within human saliva. By analyzing these biomarkers, doctors, researchers and scientists can really detect plenty of diseases in their earliest stages.
Based on the research conducted by UCLA scientists, it can be said that saliva is a testing medium just as precious as blood or other fluids from the body. In the near future, doctors can take a sample of saliva and run tests to detect diseases such as autoimmune diseases, cancers, and even diabetes. All it takes is a cotton swab and a few drops of saliva, and then even patients with a phobia of needles can go for such testing much easier.
Collecting saliva samples is both convenient and inexpensive, and these findings indeed set the basics of the future in saliva diagnostics. With a simple saliva testing, doctors will be able to detect, trust and prevent plenty of diseases which would lead to life threatening complications.
Even more so, saliva testing will be even more importance since statistics show that 20%+ of the Americans visit their own dentist much more often then their physician. Therefore, dentists will become involved directly with primary healthcare testing, and more diseases will be stopped from progressing too much and too dangerously.
Then, the specialist doctor will be able to prescribe the correct treatment plan based on the results from those saliva tests.