Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

Saliva as a diagnostic tool in forensic odontology

  • Jessica Jessica ,
  • Elza I. Auerkari ,


Objective: This paper aims to review the studies of the saliva analysis for forensic odontology purposes, starting from identifying the saliva stain and extracting the saliva sample.Methods: A literature review was performed using textbook (2016) and online search in scientific databases: PubMed®, ScienceDirect®, JDMFS online, EBSCOhost® (from 2002 to 2017). The studies generated were screened and selected by a single examiner based on the following criteria: full text articles with abstracts reporting on saliva and forensic odontology or personal identification and all articles are written in English.Results: From the articles gained by the author, the author found that saliva stain can be detected through many ways and can be extracted using single swab or double swab technique. Saliva analysis can be used to detect drug and hormone abuse, to detect intoxication, to identify suspects and victims of a crime or disaster, and also to identify bitemark’s perpetrator. Conclusion: Saliva is a very useful diagnostic tool in forensic odontology. Its detection and analysis is very important in verifying the existence of a crime, in identifying suspects and victims of a crime, and in personal identification in mass disaster.  Despite all the usefulness of saliva analysis, the existence of saliva in crime scene is often difficult to be confirmed, therefore it is better to combine more than one saliva stain identification tool to confirm.


  1. Taylor JA, Kieser JA. Forensic odontology: principles and
  2. practice. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell; 2016. p. 281.
  3. Proctor GB. The physiology of salivary secretion. Journal
  4. Periodontology 2000 2016;70: 11-25.
  5. Illahi G, Tamril R, Samad R. Concentration of total protein
  6. and degree of acidity (pH) of saliva when fasting and after
  7. breakfasting. J Dentomaxillofac Sci 2016;1: 36-38.
  8. Kaufman E. The diagnostic applications of saliva-a review.
  9. Critical Review Oral Biology Medicine 2002;13: 197-212.
  10. Javaid MA, Ahmed AS, Durand R, et al. Saliva as a
  11. diagnostic tool for oral and systemic diseases. J Oral
  12. Biology and Craniofacial Research 2016;6: 66-75.
  13. Thomadaki K, Helmerhorst EJ, Tian N, et al. Whole-saliva
  14. proteolysis and its impact on salivary diagnostics. Journal
  15. Dental Research 2011;90: 1325-1330.
  16. Saxena S, Kumar S. Saliva in forensic odontology:
  17. a comprehensive update. Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial
  18. Pathology 2015;19: 263-265.
  19. Michalke B, Rossbach B, Göen T, et al. Saliva as a matrix
  20. for human biomonitoring in occupational and environmental
  21. medicine [Biomonitoring Methods, 2015]. The
  22. MAK collection for occupational health and safety; 2016.
  23. p. 1399-1479.
  24. Watanabe K, Akutsu T, Takamura A, et al. Practical
  25. evaluation of an RNA-based saliva identification method.
  26. Science & Justice 2017;57: 404-408.
  27. Casey DG & Price J. The sensitivity and specificity of
  28. the RSIDTM-saliva kit for the detection of human
  29. salivary amylase in the Forensic Science Laboratory,
  30. Dublin, Ireland. J Forensic Sci Int 2010;194: 67-71.
  31. Nakanishi H, Kido A, Ohmori T, et al. A novel method for
  32. the identification of saliva by detecting oral streptococci
  33. using PCR. J Forensic Sci Int 2009;183: 20-23.
  34. Jiang J, Park NJ, Hu S, et al. A universal pre-analytic
  35. solution for concurrent stabilization of salivary proteins,
  36. RNA and DNA at ambient temperature. Archives of Oral
  37. Biology 2009;54: 268-273.
  38. Ohta J & Ohmura M. Reducing of salivary α-amylase
  39. inhibition by using bovine serum albumin and calcium
  40. chloride for forensic saliva screening. J Legal Med 2017;28:
  41. -58.
  42. Pang BCM & Cheung BKK. Applicability of two
  43. commercially available kits for forensic identification of
  44. saliva stains. J Forensic Sci 2008;53: 1117-1122.

How to Cite

Jessica, J., & Auerkari, E. I. (2019). Saliva as a diagnostic tool in forensic odontology. Journal of Dentomaxillofacial Science, 4(3), 124–127.




Search Panel