Oral Diseases: From Detection to Diagnostics

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In addition to saliva, other oral components such as gingival crevicular fluid, epithelial cells, bacteria, breath, and dental plaque have diagnostic potential. For oral diseases such as caries and periodontal disease, visual diagnosis is usually adequate, but objective diagnostic tests with predictive value are desired. Therefore, prediction models like the Cariogram have been developed that also include oral aspects such as saliva secretion, buffering capacity, and Streptococcus mutans counts for the prediction of caries. Correlation studies on salivary components and caries have not been conclusive, but correlation studies on functional aspects, such as saliva-induced bacterial aggregation and caries, look promising. Modern proteomic techniques make it possible to study simultaneously the many salivary components involved in these functions.

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