In older adults, frequent drooling can be a sign that your muscle control over your mouth and neck is weakening. When you drool, it’s often because you had more saliva in your mouth than you could control. Whether this is a problem with the lips, the throat, or something else can vary.
The best ways to stop drooling
Excess saliva can be a side effect of medications, such as tranquilizers, epilepsy drugs and anticholinesterases, often used in treatment of early dementia, such as donepezil (Aricept). Some diseases also cause excess saliva, especially Parkinson’s disease and some strokes.
Excessive drooling, called sialorrhea, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s and can cause awkwardness in social situations. It ranges from mild wetting of the pillow during sleep to embarrassing outpourings of saliva during unguarded moments.
Drooling may be considered severe if saliva drips from your lip to your clothing or your drooling interferes with your daily activities and creates social problems. Excessive drooling can also lead to inhaling saliva into the lungs, which can cause pneumonia.
Major medication groups that are clearly associated with drooling are antipsychotics, particularly clozapine, and direct and indirect cholinergic agonists that are used to treat dementia of the Alzheimer type and myasthenia gravis.
At night, your swallowing reflexes are relaxed just like the rest of the muscles in your face. This means that your saliva can accumulate and some can escape through the sides of your mouth. The medical terms for drooling too much are sialorrhea and hypersalivation.
Traditional treatment options include daily oral medications to diminish saliva production, periodic injections of a medication called Botox for temporary reduction in saliva production, or a variety of open surgical procedures to remove some salivary glands or disconnect others from the mouth.
One of the most prevalent neurological disorders is Parkinson’s disease (PD), characterized by four cardinal signs: tremor, bradykinesia, rigor and postural instability.
Most people cannot detect the scent of Parkinson’s, but some who have a heightened sense of smell report a distinctive, musky odour on patients.
Drooling in Parkinson’s is not because of excessive saliva production but instead because of swallowing issues or decreased swallowing due to a weakening of muscles in the throat. In addition to the decreased swallowing or weakening of muscles, PwP may have poor posture or experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
Stroke: When you have a stroke, blood is not flowing properly to your brain. This is usually the result of either a blood clot or broken blood vessel. Left untreated, this can cause damage to your nervous system — which can lead to difficulty swallowing as well as drooling.
Causes of Excessive Saliva Drooling or hypersalivation in adults is usually associated with infections or nervous system disorders. Hypersalivation in adults is primarily caused by: Mononucleosis or sinus infections. Strep throat or tonsillitis.
Home remedies: Drinking plenty of water can reduce saliva production. Tooth-brushing and rinsing with mouthwash can also temporarily dry out the mouth.