By Mina Levi, DDS, 07/24/2014
There are many different techniques for diagnostic testing, such as having your blood drawn or giving a urine sample. One of these techniques is saliva testing, which involves the laboratory analysis of saliva to identify certain markers for several conditions. In this article, we will discuss ten uses for saliva testing.
1. For hepatitis. Saliva testing can help identify and diagnose hepatitis. These tests find antibodies as an effective method to identify patients who are infected with hepatitis. Hepatitis C and B are identifiable using these testing techniques.
2. For HIV. The saliva test for HIV, called OraQuick HIV1/2, detects HIV antibodies in high risk populations and about ninety-seven percent in lower-risk populations. It is an effective preliminary method of diagnosis, much like a home pregnancy test. This allows for people to test for HIV without going to a clinic.
3. For genetic disease trait markers. The saliva test for genetic disease trait markers allows patients to test themselves and see if they are carriers of a gene that would not be ideal to pass along to further generations. The saliva test is done by Counsyl.
4. For proneness for periodontal disease. People with periodontal disease or those who are more prone to progressing to periodontal disease have higher levels of peroxidase, hydroxyproline and calcium in their saliva. Testing for this will let patients know if they are more prone to developing periodontitis and will need to have more advanced gum care in order to treat or prevent it. Saliva tests for periodontitis are provided by OralDNA Labs.
5. For allergies. Those who have disturbed levels of immunoglobulin levels in their saliva demonstrate proneness for developing allergies, such as the severe allergy to peanuts.
6. For detecting illicit drug use. This saliva test is one of the most used, mainly used by employers and parole officers to determine if an individual has been using illicit drugs in the recent past.
7. For diabetes. The saliva test for diabetes, called iQuickIt, makes it easier and less of a hassle for people with diabetes to test for blood sugar levels. The saliva test for diabetics removes the requirement to draw blood or prick your own finger.
8. For cardiovascular disease. There are two markers that are tested for in saliva testing for cardiovascular disease. The first is CRP (C-reactive protein) which is a marker for cardiovascular risk, higher levels means a greater risk. The other is Nitric Oxide, which is a marker for cardiovascular protection, higher levels means a smaller risk.
9. For cancer. Certain types of cancer can be detected and diagnosed through saliva testing, such as pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and oral cancer. Pancreatic cancer is screened by testing for specific mRNA biomarkers. Breast cancer shows higher levels of a breast cancer biomarker in the saliva than healthy individuals. Oral cancer saliva tests track levels of transferring in saliva.
10. For DNA testing/ancestry lineage. Saliva tests are available to test what regions of the world a person has ancestry from. These tests are available through ancestry.com.
If you have questions regarding saliva testing or if you may be a candidate for saliva testing, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.
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