You’re about to take a mouth swab drug test. You’re quite apprehensive because it’s your first time to do so. In your experience, the drug test technicians always used drug test cups or strips. So you do your due diligence to ease your concern. You come across some information about drug tests turning different colors, or of the presence of lines when you test positive. So you wonder –  why does a mouth swab drug test turn blue? Why do these tests change colors, anyway?

Mouth Swab Drug Test Turns Blue: Why This Happens

To understand why a mouth swab drug test turns blue, let’s take a good look at how technicians perform this test.

why does a mouth swab drug test turn blue

  1. The technician hands you the mouth swab drug test. He opens the package in front of you to show that it is a new, unused device.
  2. He instructs you to swab the device into your inner cheek and gums, and to leave it on your tongue, mouth closed, until the saturation indicator strip turns blue.

So, when your mouth swab drug test turns blue, there’s no reason to panic. It simply means that the saliva drug test you are using comes with a saturation indicator strip. This strip tells you that the swab has collected a sufficient oral fluid for testing.

What will happen if the mouth swab drug test doesn’t turn blue for you?

This indicates that you have not produced sufficient oral fluid for drug testing. Your technician will ask you to repeat the test.

To eliminate the chances of a retest, you must ensure that you will have enough oral fluid. How do you do this?

Things to Do to Ensure You Produce Enough Oral Fluid

  • If you take opioid medications for pain relief or other health issues, you must stop a few days before the test. This is because opioids inhibit causes dry mouth. Melissa Callahan, CRNP, explains, ““Saliva is produced and secreted by the salivary glands of the body and these glands are controlled by the autonomic nervous system,” she says. “So opioid use will decrease the production of saliva and cause dry mouth.”
  • Drink plenty of water an hour or so  before the test. Don’t worry, your sample won’t show up as diluted. It’s only urine drug tests that measures creatinine levels, which detects flushing.
  • Do refrain from smoking a few hours before your test. Tobacco causes dry mouth too.

Things that Can Affect Your Production of Oral Fluids

Some people say that to produce more saliva, you should:

  • Eat a sour candy. A lemon drop, they say, is the best. The thing is, the citrus acid in lemon candies might cause a false positive in a saliva drug test. So this won’t cause your mouth swab drug test to turn blue.
  • Chew bubble gum. Unfortunately, this might also cause a false positive.

Now you’re aware of the reason why a mouth swab drug test turns blue. If you would like to try this type of drug test for yourself or your workplace, check out Ovus Medical’s oral swabs. They are CLIA-waived, FDA-approved, with 99% accuracy. They can detect the following drugs: THC, Amphetamines, Ecstasy, Cocaine, Opiates, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Oxycodone, PCP, and Buprenorphine.