Research performed at the UCLA School of Dentistry has shown that saliva used for health screenings is as useful as blood and other bodily fluids and has greater potential for the early detection of diabetes, cancers, autoimmune diseases and other disorders.
This is important for a few reasons:
- Systemic disease is reflected in saliva.
- The future of testing for diseases will be with saliva – non-invasive, no blood draws.
- It presents an opportunity and an obligation for the medical and dental teams to coordinate care.
Lead researcher Dr. David Wong expects that future research in salivaomics will eventually translate into practical medical applications that will be administered in both medical and dental offices.
In the U.S. more people visit their dentists than their physicians. It is expected that there will be a need for dentists to engage in primary health care by taking saliva samples from their patients and coordinating customized care with both medical and dental professionals based on the results.