The proper functioning of the salivary glands maintains the health of your oral cavity. Saliva is involved in digestion, regeneration, remineralization and immune processes. It is reflexively released under the influence of beautifully decorated dishes, a fragrant smell coming from the kitchen, bakery or chocolate house.
On average your glands produce 2 ml of saliva during 10 min, what makes 2 l per day. In patients with drooling, this rate reaches 5 l or more. Sialorrhea and ptyalism are the medical terms for drooling.
Infectious diseases of the oral cavity
Infections of the oral cavity are a frequent cause of drooling. They include canker, parodontosis, gingivitis, and others. Drooling is a protective reaction and a consequence of constant irritation of the receptor apparatus.
Inflammation of the sialadens
If the inflammatory process affects the tissues of the salivary glands, their work is disrupted. The disorder manifests with hypersalivation. The disease is called mumps. The face and neck swell, and parotid lymph nodes visually enlarge.
The dysfunction of your thyroid gland, pituitary gland, hypothalamus or diabetes mellitus lead to increased salivation.
Facial palsy or stroke effects result in a disruption of the salivary glands nerve supply, weaken the muscular apparatus of the oropharynx and worsens the act of swallowing.
Diseases of the digestive system
The diseases of the intestinal system, such as esophageal reflux, duodenal ulcer, gastritis, pancreatitis or cholecystitis, stimulate the increased production of saliva.
Sialorrhea is the undesirable side effect of some drugs. After the drug withdrawal or correction of the received doses, the patient’s condition improves. Sialorrhea can be caused by antibiotics, neuroleptics, medications used to treat Alzheimer’s and depression.
During sleep, the activity of the salivary glands is inhibited, and they begin to produce less saliva.
If you sleep on the side or are on the stomach, you are at risk for sleep drooling. The orbicular muscle of mouth is relaxed, and the accumulated drool slips out during sleep. Breathing through mouth, narrow sinus passages, an afunctional occlusion, partial or complete secondary adentia increase the risk of sleep drooling.
Sleep apnea manifests with heavy breathing, loud snoring, drooling. Breathing becomes shallow during sleep. Sometimes a person with COAC makes stops for 15-30 sec. This leads to the unsound sleep and contributes to the risk of strokes and heart attack.
Drooling while sleeping can be a sign of ARVI or influenza, which are accompanied by nasal congestion.
Increased salivation occurs after stress or as a result of an endocrine disease.
How to stop drooling while sleeping?
- Build a habit to sleep on your back and tuck a blanket around yourself in order not to toss and turn to your side or stomach. Use high pillows to prop head up to stop drooling in sleep.
- Withdraw breathing through the mouth, concentrate on nasal breathing. Take a hot, sultry shower before sleep. The vapor will cleanse your clogged sinuses
- Cryotherapy. Cold-based treatment is used to increase sensitivity and swallowing frequency. Apply ice along the contour of the lips and keep in there for 1 min. Cryotherapy is a safe way to improve the condition, but it requires long time and is not always successful.
- Massage of the face or salivary glands. Facial massage is especially effective after a stroke to stop drool.
- Radiation therapy. Radiotherapy blocks salivation through the death of part of the salivary ducts. Treatment can lead to the damage to your tooth enamel.
- Botox. Injections of botulinum toxin in the parotid salivary gland tissue are performed on an outpatient basis since it is accompanied by an extremely low percentage of complications. The effect of a single administration of botox persists for 6-8 months, after which the injections should be repeated.
- If sleep drooling is a sign of sleep apnea, positive pressure airway pressure (CPAP) machine is vital. A machine provides a deeper sound sleep and guarantees your safety at night.
- Anticholinergic drug cut the amount of released saliva. It is not recommended to use medications for a long time due to the risk of side effect.
- Surgery. In the most difficult cases, with resist salivation, surgical intervention is carried out to remove salivary glands.
If there are no serious pathologies, folk remedies reduce the severity of drooling. The viburnum berries, a tincture of water pepper, an infusion of a shepherd’s bag and others are useful. It is recommended to rinse your mouth after eating and before sleep with brew or teas.
Drooling in your sleep is not a reason to be ashamed. This habit can be improved with easy steps. If you have any concerns about the state of your health see the GP for professional tips. Trouble sleeping, insomnia, frequent fatigue and headaches indicate serious disorder and require medical attention.
- Aoki, Katashi. “Method for the prevention of drooling from a plastic injection molding mold and injection nozzles.” U.S. Patent No. 4,299,791. 10 Nov. 1981.
- Reilly, James S., et al. “Prevention and management of aerodigestive foreign body injuries in childhood.” Pediatric Clinics43.6 (1996): 1403-1411.
- Brown, David, and Nick Travaglini. “Pin-less drool prevention system.” U.S. Patent No. 5,458,843. 17 Oct. 1995.