Shre Vinayakaa Dental Clinic
Saliva testing is a diagnostic technique that involves laboratory analysis of saliva to identify markers of endocrine, immunologic, inflammatory, infectious, and other types of conditions. Saliva is a useful biological fluid for assaying steroid hormones such as cortisol, genetic material like RNA, proteins such as enzymes and antibodies, and a variety of other substances, including natural metabolites, including saliva nitrite, a biomarker for nitric oxide status (see below for Cardiovascular Disease, Nitric Oxide: a salivary biomarker for cardio-protection). Saliva testing is used to screen for or diagnose numerous conditions and disease states, including Cushing's disease, anovulation, HIV, cancer, parasites, hypogonadism, and allergies. Salivary testing has even been used by the U.S. government to assess circadian rhythm shifts in astronauts before flight and to evaluate hormonal profiles of soldiers undergoing military survival training.
Proponents of saliva testing cite its ease of collection, safety, non-invasiveness, affordability, accuracy, and capacity to circumvent venipuncture as the primary advantages when compared to blood testing and other types of diagnostic testing. Additionally, since multiple samples can be readily obtained, saliva testing is particularly useful for performing chronobiological assessments that span hours, days, or weeks. Collecting whole saliva by passive drool has a myriad of advantages. Passive drool collection facilitates large sample size collection. Consequently, this allows the sample to be tested for more than one biomarker. It also gives the researcher the ability to freeze the left over specimen to be used at a later time. Additionally, it lessens the possibility of contamination by eliminating extra collection devices and the need to induce saliva flow. The clinical use of saliva testing occurred at least as early as 1836 in patients with bronchitis. Testing the acidity of saliva occurred at least as early as 1808. The testing of salivation by the use of mercury was performed at least as early as 1685. More recent studies have focused on detection of steroid hormones and antibodies in the saliva. Recent applications emphasize the development of increasingly sophisticated techniques to detect additional proteins, genetic material, and markers of nutritional status. According to Wong, scientists are now viewing saliva as “a valuable biofluid…with the potential to extract more data than is possible currently with other diagnostic methods.