Saliva: A diagnostic biomarker of periodontal diseases

J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2011 Oct;15(4):310-7. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.92560.

Abstract

Early detection of disease plays a crucial role in successful therapy. Early diagnosis and management reduces the severity and possible complications of the disease process. To overcome this challenge, medical researchers are devoted to finding molecular disease biomarkers that reveal a hidden lethal threat before the disease becomes complicated. Saliva, an important physiologic fluid, containing a highly complex mixture of substances, is rapidly gaining popularity as a diagnostic tool. Periodontal disease is a chronic disease of the oral cavity comprising a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the supporting structures of the dentition. In the field of periodontology, traditional clinical criteria are often insufficient for determining sites of active disease, for monitoring the response to therapy, or for measuring the degree of susceptibility to future disease progression. Saliva, as a mirror of oral and systemic health, is a valuable source for clinically relevant information because it contains biomarkers specific for the unique physiologic aspects of periodontal diseases. This review highlights the various potentials of saliva as a diagnostic biomarker for periodontal diseases.

Keywords: Biomarker; diagnostic fluid; periodontal diseases; saliva.