7. Saliva Tests for Oral Cancer
These tests can also be used to for HPV and gum disease
Many dentists now offer salivary tests for oral cancer, which can be hard to detect visually; the human papilloma virus; and periodontal disease, which has been linked to inflammation and heart disease, some cancers, and other ills. Because the tests cost $50 to $150, most dentists recommend them only if you're at high risk for oral cancer or if there's a need to identify a pathogen—as in a persistent case of periodontal disease.
There are already saliva tests for HIV and hormone levels, though these are done at the physician's office rather than at the dentist's. On the horizon: using saliva as a diagnostic tool for disease. Researchers are working on identifying biomarkers for different illnesses and developing techniques for fast saliva-based testing.
Next: New Root Canal Procedures