Certain proteins (biomarkers) in the saliva of children have been identified to be possible predictors of Type II diabetes in a study published online in Public Library of Science June, 2014.
Based on this study, it is anticipated that salivary testing can in the future displace other more invasive methods, such as blood tests. It is speculated that in the future, saliva collected during a dental visit can be used to help diagnose medical conditions in conjunction with your physician.
The present study was conducted by researchers from the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Mass. They evaluated metabolic differences in 774 11-year-old children who were underweight, of normal healthy weight, overweight or obese.
In this study four salivary biomarkers, including insulin and C-reactive protein, changed with increasing obesity. Other biomarkers can be identified in future studies that can be used to diagnose or prognosticate (predict) risk of disease, regardless of body weight.
The advantage of salivary testing is that it is non-invasive and can be easily used to screen large numbers of people, especially children. This sort of non-invasive testing is important in developing disease prevention programs focused on children.
Called Salivary Diagnostics, this kind of testing “could provide a more acceptable alternative, which could create a new paradigm for research in preventive health,” said Dr. Max Goodson, author and senior member of the staff at Department of Applied Oral Sciences at The Forsyth Institute.
More and more your dentist will be corroborating with your physician. Working together to bring you better dental health as well as system health. Seeing your dentist regularly has become even more important than ever.