Salivary DNA test for virus

Salivary DNA test for virus associated with oral cancer

Traditionally, periodontal disease is diagnosed by measuring pocket depth, bleeding upon probing, radiographic interpretation,  and assessment of plaque levels. These, obviously, are important determinants, but do not address the issue of disease activity, or causation. By causation we mean what are the pathogenic organisms instigating the immune response, resulting in the inflammatory destruction? These clinical parameters do not identify the patient's predisposition to periodontal disease either. There is considerable interest, today, in the development of salivary based tests to identify the underlying biological nature of that which we can see, called the "clinical phenotype". Saliva is simple to collect non-invasively, and has been shown in many studies to contain all of the host immune systems inflammatory mediators, as well as the oral cavity's microbial components. It has been shown to contain all of the host's DNA and RNA as well. The study of salivary enzymes and proteins is rapidly uncovering a host of factors that are helping us diagnose and manage not only periodontal disease, but relate to a number of other diseases affecting the body. There is now, a commercially available salivary test for the principal periodontal pathogens, and for genetic susceptibility as well. Recently, there has been introduced a salivary DNA test for the presence of HPV, the virus associated with oral cancer, which is a huge step forward considering the rise in incidence of HPV related oral squamous cell carcinoma in young people.

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