Saliva Testing FAQ

Frequently asked questions related to saliva testing.

Saliva Testing

What can be detected in a saliva test?


Saliva contains proteins, enzymes, hormones, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Using saliva tests, a doctor can detect various diseases such as heart disease, stress analysis, exposure to harmful chemicals in the air, water, or food, history of infectious disease, oral health problems, etc.

The following conditions can be detected through saliva testing:

Adrenal conditions, altered female hormone states (such as polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS], menopause, anovulation, and hormonal alterations in cycling women), altered male hormone states (such as hypogonadism/andropause and hyperestrogenic states), metabolic disturbances (such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome), benign and metastatic neoplasms (such as breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and oral cancer), infectious conditions (such as HIV, viral hepatitis, amoebiasis, and helicobacter pylori infection), and allergic conditions (such as food allergy).

What is pooled saliva testing?


Pooled saliva testing means that saliva samples from multiple people can be combined and processed as a single test.

What is saliva testing for hormones?


Saliva testing is a simple, straightforward way to get your hormone levels in check. It acts as an initial assessment from which you can move on and do more research if necessary. Saliva testing is used to measure hormones like cortisol, estrogens, progesterone, androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone [DHEA], and melatonin. Saliva tests can be performed in cortisol for the screening, diagnosis, or monitoring of menopause or diseases related to aging, or any other indications.

What can a saliva drug test detect?


A saliva drug test is an easy and non-invasive way to detect the presence of drugs in your system. Saliva contains certain proteins which may indicate if you've used illegal substances such as marijuana or alcohol on any given day, but it also provides a window into other areas like mental health by measuring stress levels. A saliva drug test can check for the presence of the following substances in a person’s system.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Amphetamines
  3. Barbiturates
  4. Benzodiazepines
  5. Cocaine
  6. Marijuana
  7. Methamphetamine
  8. Opioids
  9. Opiates
  10. Phencyclidine

What can cause a false positive saliva test?


Low saliva pH can cause a false positive saliva test

What is a cortisol saliva test?


Saliva cortisol tests are used to measure the level of stress-inducing hormone, cortisol. The cortisol hormone is made by the adrenal gland and helps with many functions including managing stress. The level of this natural occurring chemical can be affected due to physical or emotional stresses, strenuous activity, infection/injury etc..

Why is saliva used for DNA testing?


Saliva sampling is a great alternative to blood tests for those who are anxious about having their bodily fluids collected. The DNA in your spit can provide valuable genetic information that will help with many different types of applications, ranging from identifying potential health problems or medical treatments to finding ancestors' records!

How to produce more saliva for a test?

  1. Gently rub the outside of your cheeks
  2. Making chewing motions with your mouth
  3. Thinking about your own favorite food
  4. Smelling or imagining sour foods such as lemons

How long can alcohol be detected in saliva?


Alcohol detection tests are a great way to ensure you don't have any alcohol in your system. Alcohol detection tests can measure alcohol in the blood for up to 6 hours, on the breath for 12 to 24 hours, urine for 12 to 24 hours (72 or more hours with more advanced detection methods), saliva for 12 to 24 hours, and hair for up to 90 days. Depending on the body system and test used, alcohol detection times may vary.