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Salivary C-Reactive Protein

Salivary C-Reactive Protein

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein produced in the liver.  Serum CRP measurements are widely used as a bio-marker of inflammation in the body.  Elevated levels of serum CRP have been tied to increased risk for heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and other conditions related to inflammation, such as diabetes and autoimmune disorders. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)  The relationship between serum and salivary levels of CRP is not well understood.  Salivary CRP levels have been found to be higher in children with allergic asthma, and in pigs with respiratory viral infections. (10,11)In an unpublished study, sick people admitted to a hospital had average salivary CRP levels 25 times higher than healthy people. (12) Salivary CRP may largely reflect local inflammation in the mouth, but some serum CRP can enter saliva through gingival tissues, especially if periodontal disease is present. (13,14)  Ongoing research is investigating the possibility that salivary CRP can be used to monitor inflammation in other parts of the body. (15,16,17,18,19,20)