What Causes Drooling?
You wake up after a full, healthy 8 hours of sleep. The sun is shining and the day looks bright! Until… you look down at your pillow and notice a tiny pool of drool sitting on your pillow. Wonderful.
Have no fear! There is no need for concern, except for perhaps that extra load of laundry you’ll have to do before the end of the day. Many people experience drooling at some point in their lives, especially at night time! The reason being is because our bodies produce saliva to keep our mouths clean. While awake, we subconsciously swallow the saliva; however, when we are asleep, our facial muscles are relaxed and it’s a lot more difficult to keep the saliva in. Thus, we have a pool full of drool on our pillows in the morning!
But, sometimes this may not necessarily be the case. Sometimes, you may find yourself suffering from more serious medical conditions that cause drooling. If so, make an appointment with your doctor or dentist as you may be suffering from:
- Allergies – According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 50 million people in the United States suffer from nasal allergies. These allergies can affect how much your child may drool throughout the night because allergies can cause an overproduction of mucus. With a high production of mucus in the nasal passage, the only viable option for optimum breathing is through the mouth causing an overproduction of saliva.
- Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis is extremely common, especially in children, and occurs when the tonsils are inflamed. The irritation of the glands can cause the throat to swell up, thus making it more difficult to swallow. Without the ability to swallow, saliva can build up and leak out of the mouth.
- Sinus Infection – Upper respiratory tract infections are generally associated with breathing and swallowing problems due to swelling and the overproduction of mucus. The difficulty to swallow causes an abundance of saliva to gather in the oral cavity which can cause drooling
- Acid Reflux – Acidity or Acid Reflux occurs when the acid produced in the stomach travels up through the esophagus causing burning chest pain and the overproduction of saliva. The buildup of saliva can cause drooling while awake or asleep.
Many times, something as simple as changing your sleep position can assist with a drooling problem. Studies show that sleeping on your back minimizes drooling, while sleeping on your front (stomach) or side can increase drooling. The next time you find yourself drooling, try changing your sleeping position. If that doesn’t work or decrease drooling, see your dentist or doctor about underlying medical conditions and treatment options. Drooling may be an embarrassing topic, but it’s not the end of the world. Assistance is available!