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Performing the Salivary Flow Test

Watch the video below for step-by-step instructions on how to perform the salivary flow test.  After you have finished the test, click the corresponding button below to see your results along with personalized tips and support on how to improve your dry mouth symptoms.

How to Perform the Salivary Flow Test

Step 1: Preparation

- Make sure you have a quiet and comfortable space to perform the test.  You should quiet yourself for 30-60 minutes prior to the test

- Ensure you have a timer to measure the time accurately.

- Have the provided graduated syringe ready to collect the saliva.

Step 2: Timing

- Start the timer or watch as soon as you are ready to begin the test.

- The test duration for unstimulated salivary flow is 5 minutes.

Step 3: Collection

- Tilt your head slightly forward to avoid swallowing and let saliva accumulate in your mouth.

- Open your mouth slightly and allow the saliva to flow naturally into the test tube or cup.

- Do not spit forcefully or make any extra effort to stimulate the saliva flow.


Step 4: Time Check

- Keep an eye on the timer or watch to ensure you collect saliva for the entire specified duration (e.g., 5 minutes).


Step 5: Completion

- Once the specified time has passed, place the syringe in your mouth and withdraw all of the saliva in the mouth.

- Place the cap on the syringe and place it vertically for 10-15 min to allow gravity to bring all of the liquid to the tip of the syringe. 

- Measure the volume of collected saliva. Use the graduated markings on the test tube.

- Make a note of the volume for future reference or to share with your healthcare professional.


Step 6: Disposal

- Discard the syringe after writing down your measurement


Remember, it's important to follow any additional instructions or guidelines given by your healthcare professional for accurate test results. If you have any concerns or questions, it's always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

Interpreting the Results

To interpret the results of an unstimulated salivary flow test, several factors should be taken into consideration. First, the normal range for unstimulated salivary flow varies between individuals but typically falls between 0.1 to 0.3 milliliters per minute.


If the salivary flow rate falls below this range, it may indicate hyposalivation or reduced saliva production. Conversely, if the flow rate exceeds the normal range, it could suggest hypersalivation.


Additionally, the consistency of saliva should be evaluated. Normal saliva is typically thin and watery, whereas thicker or frothy saliva may indicate underlying conditions.


It is important to consider the patient's medical history, current medications, and any symptoms they may be experiencing in order to interpret the results accurately. Consulting with a specialist in oral medicine would be beneficial in determining the significance of the salivary flow test results and formulating an appropriate treatment plan if necessary.

Click on the button that corresponds to your personal results below for a more thorough explanation by Dr. Shane Cope along with some tips and life hacks to best live with and manage your dry mouth.

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