Your House and Your Saliva: How on Earth Could they be Related?

Normally, we may not be thinking about what saliva is doing for us in our mouths. But, saliva has an important role in helping us breakdown food and protect our teeth due to the proteins and minerals found within it. Turns out, according to new research, the combination of microorganisms in your saliva are mainly determined by your home environment rather than genetics. These organisms within saliva are found to have a great influence on our oral and overall health.

More research is showing that our microbiomes are related to our health. These microbes are perfectly normal to our bodies and help outside pathogens from establishing oral disease. Researchers at  UCL Genetics Institute looked at DNA and saliva extracted from an Ashkenazi Jewish family that lived in several different households across the world so that they could determine how the saliva microbiome varied in terms of environment versus genetics. In each of the DNA and saliva samples, they found that the majority of the salivary microbiome was composed of bacteria from the Streptococcus, Rothia, Neisseria, and Prevotella genera.

When analyzing the results, they also found that between factors including shared household, city, age, and genetics, the factor that determined who shared the most similar saliva microbes was household environment. Therefore, people in the same house share the most similar organisms within their saliva.

So, looks like genetics isn't the biggest factor in determining the makeup of our saliva as once thought according to recent research. This study concluded that a child's home environment plays a significant role in the community of bacteria found within their saliva. Since microbes can be transferred from one person to another, for instance via kissing or sharing utensils, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene, keep regular dental visits, and avoid being in close contact with others when having an active infection.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.




Request an


our blog