No one likes to get their blood taken – it’s just not fun!! But it’s the only way that we can be tested for diabetes, anemia, cholesterol levels, and many other important health issues. Well, that may soon be changing!
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are saying there may now be a much easier way to detect illness – spit!
Yes – good old saliva contains DNA, enzymes, hormones, proteins and lots of other good stuff that are making it a great candidate for medical testing. And best of all, it’s simple and painless to collect.
Recently, trials have been done with saliva to test for heart disease risk, HIV, hormone-related diseases, children’s performance in school, and even a woman’s ability to have good relationships with men based on their feelings for their fathers! (As strange as it may seem, that last one is based on levels of stress hormones found in saliva when women discuss relationship topics!!)
It’s tough to even compare the ease of spitting in a cup versus having a needle poked into your vein. As Dr. Steven Hirschfeld of The National Institutes of Health said,
“We like tests that are fast, inexpensive, and can be repeated multiple times.”
Saliva already has lots of jobs. It softens food as you chew it, making that grilled cheese sandwich much easier to swallow. It helps your tongue to taste things, is the first step in digestion, and it cleans the inside of your mouth and rinses your teeth. Most people produce one to two liters of saliva every day!!
If you feel like your mouth is always dry, be sure to let us know. It could be caused by medications, aging, or possibly a serious medical condition. And get prepared for the day when instead of someone saying “please roll up your sleeve for a blood test,” they simply ask you to spit in a cup!
If you have questions about dry mouth or any other dental issues, please remember that at Falmouth Dental Arts we are here for you! Please give us a call at 207-781-5900. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!