Hypersalivation, drooling: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention

Drooling; Salivation; Excessive saliva; Too much saliva; Sialorrhea

Drooling, also known as hypersalivation, is the inadvertent release of saliva from the mouth due to weak swallowing reflexes or increased salivation. This is a common symptom in children., as well as in adults. He strikes up 26 percent of people with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease.

Some people with salivation problems are at increased risk of saliva ingestion, food or liquid into the lungs. It may cause harm, if there are problems with normal body reflexes (such as retching and coughing).

Causes of salivation

The underlying cause of drooling varies and depends on the age group. In children, drooling may occur due to poor oral motor control., teething or allergies. In adults, drooling may be associated with illness or disease, such as neurological disorders, stroke, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia and brain tumors.

In adults, drooling can also be caused by side effects of medications., misaligned teeth, dietary changes or substance abuse.

Some salivation in infants and toddlers is normal. It can happen during teething. Drooling in infants and young children may be worse with colds and allergies.

Drooling can be caused by some infections, including:

  • Mononucleosis
  • Paratonsillar abscess
  • Streptococcal angina
  • sinus infections
  • Tonsillitis

Other disorders, which can cause excessive salivation:

  • Allergies
  • Heartburn or GERD (Reflux)
  • Poisoning (especially pesticides)
  • Pregnancy (may be due to side effects of pregnancy, such as nausea or reflux)
  • Reaction to snake or insect venom
  • swollen adenoids
  • The use of some drugs

Salivation can also be caused by disorders of the nervous system., that make swallowing difficult. Examples:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy (Cerebral Palsy)
  • Down's syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease

salivation symptoms

The main symptom of drooling is excess saliva outside the lips.. There may be a number of side effects depending on the cause., associated with salivation, including bad breath, skin irritation and dehydration.

When to see a doctor

If you or your child have difficulty swallowing, persistent bad breath, frequent coughing or skin irritation due to excessive salivation, it is important to see a doctor. You may also need to see a doctor, if you or your child is having difficulty speaking due to drooling.

Questions, that your doctor may ask

When you visit a doctor with suspected drooling, it, probably, ask a lot of questions, associated with this condition. These may include:

  • When did this state begin??
  • Is salivation constant or does it come and go?
  • Are there any comorbidities or diseases?
  • Are you or your child taking any medications?
  • Do you or your child use alcohol or illegal drugs?

Diagnosis of salivation

Various tests can be used to diagnose salivation., depending on the cause. Doctor, probably, collect a detailed medical history and conduct a physical examination. Imaging Tests, such as MRI or CT, can also be used to determine the cause of a condition.

Besides, a saliva test may be performed to measure the amount of saliva produced and a saliva test to check for any abnormalities, underlying disease. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a saliva diary., to document the amount and consistency of saliva produced.

Salivation treatment

Treatment for drooling depends on the underlying cause. In children, treatment may include oral exercises, stretching and muscle relaxation techniques to enhance oral motor control. Saliva analysis can also provide useful information., which will help determine the cause and prescribe treatment.

In adults, treatment may include medications to reduce saliva production., correction of teeth to change the structure of the oral cavity and / or speech therapy. Treatment may also include medications to reduce neurological conditions., underlying this condition.

If you have heavy salivation, your doctor may recommend:

Salivation treatment at home

There are several home treatments, which may help reduce the severity of salivation, including some lifestyle changes.

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise and avoidance of such substances, like alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Increasing fluid intake, so that the saliva does not become too thick.
  • Avoid foods, causing profuse salivation.
  • Keep your mouth clean and dry, brushing your teeth and tongue several times a day.
  • Avoid everything, what can increase saliva production, such as spicy or acidic foods.

Prevention of salivation

The best way to prevent salivation is to lead a healthy lifestyle.. This includes avoiding alcohol., illegal drugs and products, that increase saliva production. People with neurological diseases, which can cause salivation, it is important to follow the treatment plan, prescribed by a doctor.

Besides, topics, who have difficulty swallowing, medical attention should be sought to assess the cause and identify any underlying medical conditions. It is also important to follow the rules of oral hygiene., including regular brushing and flossing. Finally, ensuring proper oral hygiene in children is important to prevent salivation in children.

Used sources and literature

Lee AW, Hess JM. Esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 79.

Okun MS, Just AE. Parkinsonism. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 381.

Slavotinek AM. Dysmorphology. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Bloom NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier;2020:chap 128.

White AK, Balamuth FB. Triage of the acutely ill child. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Bloom NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier;2020:chap 80.

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