Drool is excessive saliva in the mouth and out during sleep or daily activities. Although this is not annoying, it can feel uncomfortable. While sleeping reflex swallow you relax like the rest of the muscles in your face. This means saliva accumulates in the mouth and when excess some can pass through the sides of your mouth. The medical term for drooling too much is sialorrhea and hypersalivation.
Although drooling while you sleep is quite common, sometimes saliva is a symptom of neurological conditions, sleep disorders, or other health conditions. You may drool again after a health event such as a stroke, or as a result of cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis (MS). To find out more about why you drool and how to stop doing it, keep reading.
What causes of drooling?
Gastrointestinal reflex disorder (GERD)
Gastrointestinal reflex disorder (GERD) is a digestive condition in which your stomach contents flow back into your esophagus, damaging your esophageal lining. GERD can cause dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) or make you feel like there is a lump in your throat. This feeling causes excessive saliva for some people. Here are some tips to improve your sleep if you have GERD.
Dysphagia is a term for any condition that creates difficulty in swallowing. If you drool excessively, your saliva may be a warning symptom. MS, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, and even some cancers can cause dysphagia and cause difficulty swallowing your spittle.
The most common cause of drooling while you sleep is very easy, you may never think about it - and it has something to do with gravity. The position you sleep on often causes saliva to pool in your mouth. People who sleep on their sides, or in their stomachs, are more likely to drool when they sleep. Especially if you tend to breathe through your mouth, or if you have narrow sinus ducts, accumulated saliva can start coming out of your lips when it's open to breathe.
If you have a stuffy nose due to a cold or an infection, you may find you drool more than usual. If you have sinus ducts that are inflamed or clogged regularly or narrower sinuses than others, you may find yourself drooling all the time. Clogged sinuses make you more likely to breathe through your mouth during sleep, and "mouth breathing" causes more saliva to come out of your mouth.
Drug side effects
Some medications can make you more susceptible to drooling. Antipsychotic drugs (especially clozapine) and drugs used to treat Alzheimer's have been shown to cause excessive salivation. Some antibiotics may also result in sialorrhea.
When you have sleep apnea, your sleep is disturbed because your body stops breathing once in the night. Drool can be a risk factor for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be very serious and should get the right diagnosis. If you have a lot of salivation at night, ask yourself if you have any other signs of sleep apnea, such as: snoring loudly, wake up feeling shocked or out of breath at night, attention problems or difficulty focusing on daylight, sleepy during waking hours, a sore throat or dry mouth when waking up, See a doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms in addition to drooling.
There are some treatments to stop drooling during sleep. Some you can do at home but some you need to specific medical treatments.
1. Sleeping position
The first thing to do is change your sleeping position. By sleeping on your back, you will be able to better control your saliva flow so it does not end in your face or soak your pillow. If you have trouble sleeping on your back, maybe it's because it's hard for you to breathe when you're in a new position. Note whether you feel "stuffy" or if you are experiencing acid reflux when you try to sleep on your back. Just paying attention to how you feel when you fall asleep may hold the key to finding out if there is a deeper problem.
2. Home treatment
It is important to maintain a healthy salivary balance in your mouth. Saliva plays an important role in protecting your body from infection, according to the American Dental Association.
If you try to squeeze a little, you might want to bite the lemon slices. Some people believe that oranges can dilute your saliva, making it less likely to pool. You might also consider drinking more water because staying hydrated will dilute the saliva you produce.
3. Mandibular device
The mandibular device is an oral device. It's something you put in your mouth - like a mouth protector - to make you sleep more comfortable and reduce drooling and snoring. This device is available for purchase online or at some specialty surgical equipment stores.
4. CPAP machine
If saliva is an indication of sleep apnea, you should seek treatment. The most recommended treatment for sleep apnea is something called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP machines will not only help you get a better night's sleep, it will ensure that you are positioned safely and breathe well at night. You can also drool with this machine; talk to sleep apnea treatment specialist about how you may stop this from happening.
5. Botox injections
Some people choose to take an aggressive approach to hypersalivation. One treatment is to inject Botox into the salivary glands that surround your mouth. This keeps the glands from overproduction of saliva. This treatment is not permanent, because in the end Botox will fade and your gland will function again.
There are some cases where doctors recommend that your saliva glands be removed. People who need their salivary glands removed usually have underlying neurological problems that are far more serious than just drooling in their sleep. This surgery generally manages to withstand hypersalivation, but people who consider surgery for these symptoms will be advised to try other treatments first.
Drooling in sleep You do not have to feel embarrassed, and there are simple steps you can take to try to improve this habit. If you are worried about how much you drool in your sleep or have reason to believe that your saliva is a sign of other health diagnoses, bring this issue to your doctor. Often waking up at night, never feeling rested, and frequent headaches and other sleep problems can indicate that something serious is happening.