About this Research Topic
Saliva is a remarkably complex fluid with many properties and functions which are essential for both oral and general health. In the last years, technological advancements, especially in “-omics” studies and bioinformatics tools, recognized saliva as a pool of biological markers. Indeed, saliva represents a safe and non-invasive source of potentially useful information that could help to evaluate the state of health and the presence of disease. For example, the assessment of hormone levels in saliva has gained wide acceptance in endocrinology. Furthermore, the new developments in the field of cancer biology suggest that the so called “salivaomics” is a promising approach for early detection of cancer, first and foremost the oral cancer. The demographic transition in western countries is leading to the progressive aging of the population, resulting in important consequences for oral health. In fact, elderly people are more likely to suffer from hyposalivation and xerostomia, with important consequences on quality of life. The extensive investigation of saliva highlights the specific characteristics of oral microenvironment and its relationship with the whole body. Similarly, in the last years, there has been a growing interest in understanding oral microbiota and its relationship with the oral health status and with local and systemic diseases. Indeed, the study of oral microbial ecology represents another emerging connection between oral and systemic health, opening up the possibility for new diagnostic and therapeutic perspectives.
In recent years, the exponential growth in the number of publications regarding saliva and oral microbiota suggests the need to summarize many disparate and contrasting research publications.
The main scope of this Research Topic is to provide a complete and comprehensive overview of saliva, passing through oral microbiota interactions, and their role in health and disease, describing also point-of-care diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities.
Comprehensive review articles, mini-review as well as research articles on the topics are welcome. Articles will be grouped into four main sections: “Biological basis of saliva” (will be discussed chemical and biological characteristics of saliva and its role in oral functions), “The role of saliva in the human disease” (will be discussed the effect of local and systemic diseases on the functions of saliva. Furthermore, will be discussed the involvement of saliva in development of oral diseases), “Saliva as diagnostic and therapeutic tool” (will be discussed current clinical use and future diagnostic and therapeutic applications of saliva), and “The oral microbiota/ microbiome” (will be discussed the main areas of research regarding oral microbiota and oral microbiome).
Keywords: Saliva, salivary patho-physiology, oral microbiota, oral health, oral diseases
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.