It might be more politically correct for me to ask if are you sharing saliva, rather than swapping spit, but either way, the answer would be the same. Yes! Most of us, in one way or another, are transmitting pathogens through our saliva.
It’s very interesting, although not surprising, that when testing the saliva of spouses, their pathogen profiles are very similar, sometimes even identical (example charts). This makes sense since we are cohabitating with our spouse on an intimate level.
When it comes to pets, allowing them to drink from our cup or glass, or sharing food, like an ice cream cone, puts us at risks for the sharing of bugs. When it comes to our kids, the same is true. If mom or dad has symptoms of periodontal disease (or tooth decay), those pathogens get transferred to offspring at a very early age. As soon as teeth erupt (6-8 months), pathogens can be harbored. We see the real world application of this scenario when entire families are patients and they all have periodontal disease activity (or tooth decay).
Having a discussion about this topic with your patients and family members will have a big emotional impact. Making some awareness modifications in behavior on the other hand could make a big difference in their health and wellness. For example:
- Avoid sharing:
- cups, glasses or straws
- forks or spoons
- ice cream cones
- Don’t ‘bite off a piece’ when someone has gone before you
- Don’t allow your dog to lick you or your baby on the face or hands
Are we swapping spit? Absolutely! The good news is, with today’s technology we can know exactly which bugs, in what concentrations are causing the problem.
Inspired Hygiene offers a wide-array of coaching services, including implementation of salivary diagnostics/pathogen testing. If you are interested in taking it to the next level, please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877.237.7230.