What Causes Excessive Saliva Production & Drooling?

Saliva Production

What Causes Excessive Saliva Production & Drooling?

Excessive saliva production or drooling is a condition called sialorrhea, and interestingly, it’s usually not caused by saliva overproduction of the major salivary glands. So what types of issues could be contributing to your extra saliva production? We take a closer look in today’s blog.

Causes and Symptoms of Excessive Saliva Production

Drooling is fairly common in young children, especially ones who are getting their first teeth. However, after a child is three or four years old, saliva production associated with teething should have stopped. However, many teens and adults deal with excessive saliva production on a regular basis, so what’s causing their issue?

There could be a number of different issues contributing to your excessive saliva. Some of those causes include:

  • Inadequate Swallowing – There may not necessarily be an overproduction issue, instead you may not be removing enough saliva from your mouth on a regular basis, leading to an overabundance in your mouth. Facial irritation and skin breakdown near the mouth can inhibit swallowing.
  • Infections – Certain infections like strep throat or abscesses around the tonsils can both cause excessive saliva production and drooling.
  • Certain Health Conditions – Acid reflux, sinus pressure from obstructed nasal passages, or an enlarged tongue have all been associated with an increased risk of excessive drooling.
  • Medications – Potential side effects of medications like clozapine can lead to overproduction of saliva.
  • Motor and Neurological Diseases – Stroke victims, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients and those with down syndrome or cerebral palsy all may experience difficulties swallowing and in turn have excessive drooling.
  • Poor Mouth Hygiene – Poor mouth hygiene, including if food particles remain on tooth surfaces and trigger a salivary response, can lead to excessive saliva production.

Treating Saliva Overproduction

Treating the condition comes down to identifying the underlying cause and coming up with a solution. Those who can’t physically address a swallowing issue may have a harder time correcting the problem compared to someone who’s dealing with medication-induced saliva overproduction.

If you want to get to the bottom of your excessive drooling, reach out to your primary care physician or your family dentist. They’ll be able to take a closer look, diagnose the issue and set you up with a treatment plan. If you want to try your own treatments in the meantime, really focus on brushing your teeth regularly and having good dental hygiene, as this can help keep saliva production at the correct level.

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