What our saliva knows about our body

Running lab tests.
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By KYW Newsradio 1060

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Over the years, we have learned that the saliva we produce can tell us a lot about ourselves. As a result, a growing number of studies are being undertaken to look at some of the clues saliva can provide. 

For instance, stress hormones can be measured in saliva. 

Now, there is news from the American Heart Association scientific sessions that oral bacteria is associated with atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits that clog arteries and increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes. 

According to the researchers, saliva could be examined to measure the risk for heart disease. Down the road, the thought is that further studies might tell us what bacteria could be produced to fight heat disease.