Spit The Key To Cancer Diagnosis For Dentists

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Dr David Wong, a researcher from UCLA, claims that a number of health indicators are present in saliva, meaning that dentists can identify a host of health conditions, including cancer, by analysing the spit.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, Dr Wong argues that analysing the spit can help dentists check for a range of different diseases. The mouth swab procedure is completely non-invasive, there is no pain involved and the patient will not feel a thing.

The study of spit, known as salivanomics, is useful because many people see their dentist more than their doctor; people tend to only visit their doctor when they are already suffering from symptoms of an illness, while patients attend their dental surgery for regular check-ups.

Analysing the saliva may enable dentists to identify early signs of developing conditions, which could help to save hundreds or thousands of lives, with many conditions, such as cancer, getting worse with time. Oral cancer has become increasingly prevalent yet most cases are still not diagnosed until an advanced stage when there is a risk that the disease may have spread, making the chances of successful treatment lower.

Dr Wong said that analysis of the spit is not currently taking place but he claims that it should be introduced in the near future, as it can be as effective and much quicker and more convenient for the patient than diagnostic tests on other bodily fluids.


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