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

August 12th, 2018

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.




Child Allergies and Antibacterial Agents

July 3rd, 2012

A new study is linking the use of antibacterial agents in things such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and soap to the development of allergies in children.

Data was used from a survey taken of 860 kids between the ages of 6 to 18. The relationship between levels of antibacterials and preservatives found in urine were that are found in many personal hygiene products and the presence of IgE antibodies in the children's blood.

According to the study,

"Children with the highest levels of the antibacterial agent triclosan had more than twice the risk of food allergies and nearly twice the risk of environmental allergies as children with the lowest levels, the findings revealed." You can read the article in full here.

Is our society too germ cautious, and as a result, future generations will feel the effects? Let us know in the comments!

Sharing germs with children

May 28th, 2010


This is an interesting read for caregivers - it shows how taking care of our mouths as adults can really make a difference for our children's future oral health. 

Something as simple as giving a baby a kiss can transfer germs from parent to child.

MSNBC Reports

Replace your toothbrush

July 27th, 2009

If you have been using the same toothbrush (or toothbrush head) for three months or more, it is time to replace it. If you use a power toothbrush, many of the heads now have indicators that let you know when it's time to replace it (may be sooner than 3 months).

We recommend this because toothbrushes can become worn, the bristles become less effective at removing plaque, and the brushes can harbor germs.

Also, it is important to replace your toothbrush after suffering an illness or if you have (accidentally?) shared your brush with someone else.

Request an


our blog