The inne minilab is an at-home cycle-tracking device that measures changes in your hormone levels using your saliva. The convenience and simplicity of saliva testing makes cycle tracking a breeze— no blood, no urine, no needles, and no pain.
Since the minilab operates purely on saliva, getting a good sample is essential to preserving the validity and accuracy of your measurements.
Recently, the inne team has seen more 'no-flow' samples with our users. In other words, some users aren't collecting enough saliva for the sample to work effectively.
If you're dehydrated or have a dry mouth, you may not be able to retrieve a good saliva sample. So to enhance your user experience, we've created a guide on how you can quickly combat a dry mouth and collect the best saliva sample for an accurate reading.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
When your glands don't produce enough saliva, your mouth may start getting dry and feeling uncomfortable. Typically, you’ll notice a sensation of oral dryness in your mouth. Plus, your saliva may feel thicker than usual, and you may have trouble swallowing dry foods .
Having a dry mouth isn't usually a cause for concern. For instance, inne users observe faulty saliva samples more often in the summer due to reduced saliva production. After all, it's easier to get dehydrated in the summer heat.
Some other possible causes of dry mouth include [1, 2]:
- The medications you're taking: Dry mouth is a common side effect of various medications, such as those used to treat colds and allergies.
- Certain medical therapy. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment can alter the texture, consistency, and amount of saliva you produce.
- An underlying medical condition: Certain conditions, such as Sjögren's syndrome, diabetes, anxiety, and HIV, may lead to dry mouth symptoms.
- Lifestyle factors: Smoking can affect your saliva production. Constantly breathing through your mouth, which could be due to having a blocked nose, can also lead to dry mouth symptoms.
- Dehydration: Certain temporary conditions, such as a fever or diarrhoea, may predispose you to a higher risk of dehydration and having a dry mouth.
Often, having a dry mouth is simply a nuisance, and increasing your fluid intake may be all you need to do to resolve it. But at times, dry mouth cases may be persistent and significantly impact your quality of life. If so, it's better to get your symptoms investigated by a healthcare provider.
How To Treat A Dry Mouth
Getting rid of a dry mouth will enable you to collect better saliva samples for testing. Here are some simple lifestyle measures that can generally help to tackle dry mouth symptoms :-
- Increasing your fluid intake
- Sipping water more frequently
- Enjoying sugar-free sweets
- Chewing on some sugar-free gum
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and dry foods
- Reducing intake of sugary drinks
- Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth
Since dry mouth symptoms may be more prominent in the summer, be sure to hydrate well.
If your dry mouth symptoms persist, it is best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional. They can then investigate any possible underlying causes of your symptoms.
Say your dry mouth is due to a medical condition. In that case, your healthcare professional may recommend treatment for it. They may also recommend saliva substitutes and lubricants or artificial saliva gels, rinses, and sprays.
If your dry mouth is due to a medication you're taking, your doctor may switch it to one less likely to cause that side effect .
In many cases, though, all you'll need is good hydration to get a viable sample!
Other Tips For Collecting A Good Saliva Sample
The inne team has designed the saliva test strips to be as quick and simple to use as possible. To collect a saliva sample, simply keep the strip in your mouth for about 30 seconds without biting or sucking it.
Other than staying well-hydrated to avoid 'no-flow' errors, here are some other tips to keep in mind while collecting a sample:-
- Ensure you don't take the strip out of your mouth too quickly. The strip is like a sponge and needs some time to get a good amount of saliva. The inne app has a convenient timer that helps you keep track of your collection time.
- Take your saliva sample at similar times each day. Pick a four-hour testing window for collecting your saliva samples daily. The inne app also has an alarm feature to remind you to take the test.
- Avoid putting any foreign substances into your mouth for 30 minutes before you take the test. This includes coffee, water, food, and, yes, kissing, too.
Following these tips ensures you get the most accurate result possible. The process is really quick and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine—and that's the beauty of the minilab!
If you're interested, feel free to check out the science behind the inne minilab.
1. Talha, B., & Swarnkar, S. A. (2022). Xerostomia. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
2. Alsakran Altamimi M. (2014). Update knowledge of dry mouth- A guideline for dentists. African health sciences, 14(3), 736–742. https://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v14i3.33