The field ofsalivary diagnostics€ includes studies utilizing samples obtained from a variety of sources within the oral cavity. These samples include; whole unstimulated saliva, stimulated whole saliva, duct saliva collected directly from the parotid, submandibular/sublingual glands or minor salivary glands, swabs of the buccal mucosa, tongue or tonsils, and gingival crevicular fluid. Many publications statewe collected saliva from subjects€ without fully describing the process or source of the oral fluid. Factors that need to be documented in any study include the time of day of the collection, the method used to stimulate and collect the fluid, and how much fluid is being collected and for how long. The handling of the oral fluid during and post-collection is also critical and may include addition of protease or nuclease inhibitors, centrifugation, and cold or frozen storage prior to assay. In an effort to create a standard protocol for determining a biomarker€™s origin we carried out a pilot study collecting oral fluid from 5 different sites in the mouth and monitoring the concentrations of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines detected using MesoScaleDiscovery (MSD) electrochemiluminesence assays. Our data suggested that 3 of the cytokines are primarily derived from the submandibular gland, while 7 of the cytokines come from a source other than the major salivary glands such as the minor salivary glands or cells in the oral mucosae. Here we review the literature on monitoring biomarkers in oral samples and stress the need for determining the blood/saliva ratio when a quantitative determination is needed and suggest that the term oral diagnostic be used if the source of an analyte in the oral cavity is unknown.