Shy Mouth

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Definition - What does Shy Mouth mean?

Shy mouth refers to inadequate saliva production, mimicking dry mouth sensations, often attributed to prescribed medications (i.e. antihistamines, diuretics) wherein low saliva concentration per mass volume complicates oral fluid drug testing procedures. Oral fluid testing utilizes enzyme immunoassay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methodologies with a volume accuracy indicator featuring calibrated measurements to identify specific drug metabolites.

SureHire explains Shy Mouth

While oral fluid testing can be a preferred method in drug testing procedures, given its quick turnaround on test results (typically a 24-hour period), an individual experiencing a shy mouth is less likely to secrete the necessary amount of saliva to warrant accurate findings. Consequently, technicians refer to the volume accuracy indicator as a baseline index to cross-analyze oral fluid test specimens with additional tests where decreased saliva from a shy mouth can result in a false negative.

A physician can determine if a suspected case of shy mouth exists, independent of similar dry mouth symptoms, and if necessary may suggest measures to combat shy mouth such as ample water intake or temporary discontinuance of a prescribed medicine before providing an oral fluid test specimen.


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