Saliva is very crucial for maintaining good oral health. It is your salivary glands that make it. There are various reasons your salivary glands can alter saliva production, leading to either low or excessive saliva production. Saliva helps in chewing, moisturizing the mouth, washing away germs, and preventing cavities and tooth decay. When saliva production is reduced, your oral health is hampered and causes conditions like dry mouth. This is true when there is an overproduction of saliva in your mouth. To know more about this condition, the OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr Kishkindha, BDSbased in Ludhiana, Punjab.
Causes of Excessive Saliva Production
Drooling is common in infants, but it can be a sign of underlying health conditions in adults and older children. Production of excess saliva is linked with infections or disorders of the nervous system. Based on what is causing hypersalivation, it can be temporary or chronic.
Also read: Crooked Teeth: How They Influence Your Oral Health
Temporary Causes of Hypersalivation
As the name suggests, when hypersalivation is temporary, it goes away when the underlying conditions get treated:
- Tooth cavities
- Infection in the oral cavity
- Acid or gastric reflux (heartburn)
- Use of anticonvulsant drugs and tranquilizers
- Exposure to toxins like mercury
- strep throat
- sinus infection
Chronic Causes of Hypersalivation
In other cases where hypersalivation is chronic, the underlying causes majorly include:
- Malocclusion of teeth
- Enlarged tongue
- cerebral palsy
- Parkinson’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- down syndrome
- multiple sclerosis
What Hypersalivation Means For Oral Cavity
Excess saliva production can lead to difficulty swallowing and chewing. It can also lead to speech difficulties. Sometimes, choking can happen while swallowing, drinking, or chewing foods.
In some cases, the excess saliva elevates the risk of aspirating food or fluids into the lungs. This can be problematic for people who have issues with their body reflexes, like gagging. Other than this, the excess saliva can lead to the degradation of skin around the chin and lip area.
Also read: Cold Weather Can Damage Your Teeth, Know How You Can Prevent It
How Can It Be Diagnosed?
Your doctor can diagnose and confirm this condition by looking at your symptoms. For this, he may recommend you undergo certain diagnostic tests to know the underlying cause. Swelling, bleeding, inflammation, and foul odor are some symptoms your doctor can look for in your oral cavity.
The course of treatment for hypersalivation depends on your overall health and the additional symptoms you may be experiencing. A multidisciplinary team, including general practitioners, speech therapists, neurologists, and dentists, will help you get the cure for it.
You should get treatment as soon as possible because having too much saliva can be very uncomfortable. Consult your doctor to identify the best course of treatment if you notice that you have a lot of saliva in your mouth.
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