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Minimally Invasive Techniques for Remineralization

Salivary diagnostics have been used to diagnose and monitor systemic disease since the late 1980s when highly sensitive tests were developed to detect hormones and drugs and monitor microbial infections. By the early 2000s, research was initiated to develop a comprehensive catalog of all salivary secretory proteins titled, “Human Salivary Proteome Project.” Most recently, saliva has been examined as a biofluid to identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Diagnosing systemic disease is challenging and an invasive approach is often needed. However, salivary diagnostics is a minimally invasive approach to diagnosing and managing oral and systemic disease.


Saliva contains biomarkers, or biological substances that can be quantified and analyzed to indicate health and predict or detect disease. 

Test tube with cotton swab. Line icon bgblue / DigitalVision Vectors
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Which of the following is part of saliva’s composition?

the doctor takes a test for coronavirus from the girl's mouth Annadokaz / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Gingival crevicular fluid is a biological mucosal exudate located within the gingival tissues and is an indicator of periodontal health.

Medical person taking an oral sample with a cotton swab Davizro / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Saliva is a promising and accurate predictor of early disease, improved diagnoses, and monitor of health.

saliva samples for laboratory test marekuliasz / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Matrix metalloproteinase-8 is a predominant proteinase associated with periodontal diseases, leading to destroyed interstitial collagen.

Gum disease comparison with a healthy tooth and an unhealthy one with periodontitis and poor oral hygiene health problem as a bacteria infection diagram concept with inflammation as a 3D illustration. wildpixel / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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While saliva has been examined as a medium to detect many types of cancer, it demonstrates the greatest potential to detect oral cancer because saliva is in direct contact with the cancerous lesion, and it sheds detectable cancerous cells.

WORLD CANCER DAY text with white jigsaw puzzle on pink background. Cancer Awareness Campaign ababil12 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Low salivary flow rate is a strong indicator for decreased caries risk.

teeth with caries, medical icon Kateryna Kotsiuba / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Salivary diagnostics cannot be used to detect COVID-19 through the virus’ RNA biomarkers.

COVID-19 Saliva test icon. Tubes with Saliva sample. Concept of Coronavirus rapid test. Lab research and diagnosis. Vector illustration in flat style Ekaterina Kornyukhina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Advancements in point-of-care technology allow early detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of oral and systemic diseases and cancer in a noninvasive manner with real-time results.

Close-up of woman sticking out her tongue arenacreative / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Minimally Invasive Techniques for Remineralization
Not bad, but there’s room to grow when it comes to understanding salivary diagnostics for disease detection. Consider reading more about this important facet of dental hygiene care. Good luck!
Well done! Continue to study salivary diagnostics for disease detection. You’ve got this!
Congrats! You understand the importance of salivary diagnostics for disease detection. Get out there and put your know-how to good use!

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This information is from the article The Role of Oral-Fluid Biomarkers in Diagnosing Oral Diseases by Nancy Kyser, RDH, BSDH; Denise Guadiana, RDH, MSDH; and Janet Kinney, RDH, MS. To read the article, click here.
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