Do you tend to drool at night, do you regularly feel the need to spit and this impacts your daily life? You may be suffering fromhypersalivation, also called hypersialorrhoea, or ptyalism. How to detect it? What is it related to? Should we be worried about it? Can we fix it? Point.
Definition: what is hypersalivation, or hypersialorrhoea?
We secrete on average one liter of saliva per day. Composed of 99% water, it also includes proteins and mineral salts. His goal ? Facilitate digestion and reduce the acidity of food to protect tooth enamel. It’s a super shield against harmful viruses and bacteria that enter through your mouth. Our salivary glands produce it permanentlyand go into overdrive at mealtimes, when we chew.
We talk about hypersalivation more than one liter of saliva produced per day. In some cases, patients even have difficulty swallowing it. They then have the impression of having water in their mouths and must spit, swallow more often, or even wipe their mouths regularly. This phenomenon can occur during the night, during the day, at rest or after a meal. So many situations that complicate daily life, because the disorder can be temporary or remain permanent.
What are the causes of excessive salivation?
Excess saliva can be linked to a excess production of salivaor even a decreased ability to swallow or keep saliva in his mouth.
Why do we drool during pregnancy?
At the beginning of pregnancy, during the first three to four months, women generally tend to produce more saliva, due to their HCG hormone levels. But this excessive salivation can sometimes last until the end of pregnancy in some women.
hypersalivation in children
It is normal for a toddler (4-5 years) to salivate or drool a lot, especially within the framework of teething : milk teeth come out and pierce his gums. If the pain persists, the consultation becomes essential to rule out any risk of pathology of the tonsils or other health problem.
Excessive production of saliva: what disease causes drooling?
Many pathologies can cause excessive salivation:
- a dental or oral infection (aphtha, gingivitis, caries, etc.);
- irritation due to a broken or damaged tooth or a badly installed dental prosthesis;
- inflammation of the mucous membrane in the mouth (stomatitis);
- drug poisoning or taking certain medications;
- inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis) or inflammation of the pharynx;
- nausea or vomiting;
- a gastric ulcer or inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis);
- problems with the esophagus;
- infectious mononucleosis;
More rarely, this symptom may betray esophageal cancer, brain tumor, neurological disease or even poisoning (with arsenic or mercury, for example). And beyond diseases, excessive salivation can be a simple consequence hunger, stress and anxiety.
Hypersialorrhoea: why do I have trouble swallowing?
Excessive salivation can also be linked to difficulty swallowing, especially in certain pathologies:
- sinusitis or ENT infection (laryngitis, etc.);
- an allergy ;
- a tumor located in the tongue or lips;
- Parkinson’s disease ;
- cerebral palsy;
- a cerebrovascular accident (CVA);
- multiple sclerosis;
When to consult a doctor ?
Excessive salivation can have aesthetic, psychological and even medical consequences (nausea, vomiting, even dehydration and / or malnutrition).
In case of doubt and excessive salivation which persists and becomes disabling on a daily basis, or in case of difficulty swallowing, consult a doctor so as not to miss an essential diagnosis.
A few tips can make your daily life easier and relieve the symptoms of hypersalivation:
- always have a spittoon or an empty bottle and tissues at hand;
- chewing gum to limit the production of saliva and avoid nausea when you swallow your saliva;
- pat your mouth gently when wiping, so as not to irritate your lips;
- hydrate yourself regularly and in sufficient quantity, in small sips;
- reduce your intake of starchy foods (potatoes, corn, rice, wheat);
You can also bet on acupuncture and osteopathy.
If none of the previously mentioned tips work, it is always possible to contact your doctor to determine the precise cause of the hypersalivation. The treatment will then depend on the said cause. Of the scopolamine patches (against motion sickness), anticholinergic drugsbeta-blockers, or even botulinum toxin injections in the salivary glands can be prescribed. Speech therapy sessions can also help control sialorrhea by re-learning to swallow when it is linked to a neurological disorder or stroke.