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Drooling: Causes & Treatments You Should Know

By Nupur

Most of us tend to drool, especially when we are asleep. Drooling refers to the phenomenon when excess saliva comes out of our mouth. Though it's very common to drool, it can be a medical condition. The medical terms describing it are sialorrhea or hypersalivation.

When our salivary glands produce saliva in excess, it's defined as hypersalivation. This condition can either be temporary or chronic and it can point towards an underlying health condition such as a neurological condition or a sleeping disorder.

Causes Behind Drooling

There can be several reasons behind drooling like having an infection in your mouth, suffering from a stroke, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.

The other causes leading to this condition are:

Blocked sinuses:

You are likely to drool more if you usually suffer from cold or infection and have got inflamed or blocked sinuses and nasal congestion. A blocked nose makes you breathe from your mouth which results in making you drool while you are asleep.

Sleeping position:

The position you sleep in can lead to drooling, as it could lead to the accumulation of saliva in your mouth which may end up leaking out of your mouth. Your sleeping position such as sleeping on the sides or sleeping on your stomach and breathing from your mouth can lead to drooling; hence, these positions should be avoided.

Side effects of medication:

Taking anti-psychotic drugs like clozapine can result in drooling; even drugs used for Alzheimer's treatment and various antibiotics can have side effects that can trigger drooling.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):

GERD is a condition in which digestive acids tend to flow back to your esophagus; this results in the damage of the esophagus lining. You feel like a lump is present in your throat and it even causes difficulties in swallowing and results in drooling.

Sleep apnea:

Sleep apnea refers to a serious sleep disorder in which your body tends to stop breathing at night occasionally. This condition produces excess saliva and this leads to drooling.

Dysphagia or swallowing disorders:

Drooling could be a symptom pointing toward swallowing disorders which are referred to as dysphagia. You may face difficulty in swallowing your saliva because of diseases such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and various types of cancers.


Drooling can be treated in various ways which include simple home remedies, as well as injections and surgeries.

Here's all you need to know about how to treat drooling:

1. Home remedies
2. Sleeping properly
3. Getting rid of cold, sinus and blocked nose
4. Medication for people with neurological conditions
5. Botox Injections

1. Home remedies:

Saliva plays a crucial role when it comes to protecting your body from various infections, but when thick saliva starts accumulating in your mouth while you sleep it can cause discomfort and even point out towards various other health issues. Some common home remedies people opt for are drinking more water and biting a lemon wedge; doing so makes the saliva thinner and lessens its chances of getting pooled in your mouth.

2. Sleeping properly:

Try sleeping on your back; this will help in solving the problem of drooling in your sleep. If you feel uncomfortable while sleeping on your back, you should consult a doctor as it could be a symptom of a health issue.

3. Getting rid of cold, sinus and blocked nose:

Cold, sinus and blocked nose trigger difficulties in breathing. Take the required medication and inhale steam to get rid of these issues. This will make breathing easier for you and reduce your chances of drooling as you wouldn't have to breathe from your mouth anymore.

4. Medication for people with neurological conditions:

Doctors would prescribe medicines like hyoscine and glycopyrrolate to those who are diagnosed with neurological conditions. These medicines obstruct the nerve impulses before they reach the salivary glands, thus stopping you from drooling. However, these have various side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, itchy eyes, dry mouth, irritability, hyperactivity, increase in heart rate, etc.

5. Botox injections:

Some people opt for Botox injections to get rid of drooling. Botox is injected in the salivary glands which get paralyzed and stop functioning. The impact of one Botox injection remains for a span of around 6 months and people can get it done again.

Some other treatments which can stop you from drooling are oral devices, speech therapy and surgery. An oral device is placed in the mouth; it helps in positioning the tongue and lip closure.

Speech therapy is likely to help some people in stopping from drooling; this would aid in boosting the stability of the jaw and the tongue's mobility and strength. The main aim of this therapy is to help a person swallow properly and eventually curb the issue of drooling.

A surgery is required when a person dealing with neurological condition drools severely and profusely. Removal of the salivary glands takes place in this case.