Many people have noticed that, when they wake up, there is a puddle of saliva or that there is still some dripping from the mouth. This problem is usually associated with infants, but it is also commonly observed in older children, teenagers and even adults.
Drooling during sleep can be embarrassing, especially if sharing the bed with someone else. It also requires frequent changing of the pillowcase and washing the pillow, which is sometimes quite inconvenient. Many people believe that drooling in their sleep is just a habit that cannot be solved, but the fact is that there are options for getting rid of this problem.
What causes drooling during sleep?
Before examining treatment options for drooling during sleep, it is important to know what is causing it, because treatment always depends on the underlying cause of the problem.
The most common cause of drooling in the sleep is sleeping with the mouth open. There are many reasons why people sleep with their mouth open. For example, it often happens during respiratory or sinus infections.
Another common cause of drooling is excess production of saliva, possibly due to teething, teeth or gum infections, tooth extraction and similar. Excessive saliva production can also be a side effect of certain medications.
Anatomy of the mouth can also play a role in this. People who cannot close their lips completely, have a large tongue, crowding teeth or enlarged tonsils are more likely to drool in their sleep.
How to stop drooling during sleep
Drooling during sleep will stop as soon as its underlying cause is treated. For this reason it is recommended to see a doctor, preferably a specialist in otorhinolaryngology. Sleeping with the mouth open is mostly involuntary, which makes it difficult to control.
If sleeping with the mouth open is caused by a sinus or respiratory problem, like an infection, it should be addressed and treated with proper medications. When the nasal airways are clear, the person will start breathing through their nose again and drooling should stop soon after that.
People tend to drool more when they are sleeping in their side or on their stomach. It is recommended to try sleeping on the back, with the head and the shoulders slightly propped against the pillow. This way, even if the mouth is open, the saliva will not drip down from it.
If the cause is something other than a respiratory or sinus infection, like an anatomical problem, it is recommended to see a specialist who will examine the structure and decide what is the best option to solve it.