Colgate Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center

Innovative toothpastes to clean and brighten every type of smile.


A toothbrush for every type of smile, designed with comfort and results in mind.


Colgate kids' products make brushing fun and encourage routine use.

Kids' Products

Oral care products available exclusively through dental professionals.

Products From the Dentist

Professional grade oral care, available without a prescription.

Other Oral Care

Every smile is unique and requires a different type of care. Colgate has a solution for every smile.

Search by Benefit
Font size

Saliva may hold key to detecting deadly diseases in the body

Someday saliva may be a lot more useful than for digestion—or to seal a deal with a handshake.

Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles School of Dentistry, thanks to a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, are working to develop biological markers in saliva that could lead to a test to detect stomach cancer and other systemic diseases.

Dr. David Wong will lead the five-year project and a team of collaborators who ultimately hope to develop a panel that would definitely detect stomach cancer cells by capturing extracellular RNA, or exRNA. Previously, RNA, which translates genetic code from DNA to make protein, was believed to reside within cells. Scientists later determined that RNA is secreted outside of cells—making it extracellular. This determination may mean that salivary exRNA molecules can emit signals that scientists can study and use to detect diseases.

The study could generate hard evidence that saliva can be used to detect such life-threatening, systemic diseases as diabetes and cancers of the pancreas, breasts, ovaries and stomach.

Dr. Wong and his team first discovered salivary exRNA molecules in 2004 and showed how they could work in detecting oral cancer, according to UCLA. The team successfully developed salivary exRNA biomarkers for such oral and systemic diseases as salivary gland tumors and Sjögren's syndrome, the school said.

The ADA has resources on diseases of the oral cavity, including Sjögren's syndrome and oral cancer at

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

09/25/2013  |  |  Legal/Privacy  | Site Map  |  Contact Us
© Colgate-Palmolive Company. All rights reserved.
You are viewing the United States site.