What Causes Excessive Saliva In The Mouth? How To Prevent It?

Generating excess saliva can be a temporary but irritating problem. It does not necessarily mean a major health issue but can interfere with normal life. You normally produce about 0.5 to 1.5 litres every day. The two main reasons you make more (or notice the excess) saliva is either you are having trouble swallowing the saliva made or your saliva glands are acting up.

But saliva is an important part of the body and its digestive process. Every time you swallow your saliva, it helps to neutralize the acids created in your stomach during the digestive process along with helping the digestion happen efficiently.

The saliva even protects your teeth.

The main reasons why these two things could happen can be any number of medical conditions.

  • Dentures that do not fit properly or gaps in your existing teeth structure.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • Medications like clonazepam, clozapine, or pilocarpine.
  • Allergies.
  • Sinusitis or recurrent cold.
  • Tumors on the tongue or the lips.
  • Swollen glands.

There are some other instances too where your body could generate more saliva than it is normally used to dealing with. But these instances are usually fewer in occurrences.

  • Bells’ Palsy.
  • Cerebral Palsy.
  • Mercury poisoning.
  • Autism.
  • Syphilis.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Rabies.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Myasthenia gravis.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

These lists and conditions are certainly not definitive but generally create conditions where the mouth and the body are not able to deal with the additional saliva.

How To Stop Excessive Saliva In The Mouth?

You can treat the problem of excess saliva by either adjusting your diet or taking medication. The diet route works better because it’s more sustainable in the long term.

Bland foods can help reduce your saliva secretion. Include more foods like crackers, baked chips, dry toasts or dry cereals. Try and make sure that these foods are low in salt. Keep a packet of these items on you all the time. Salted nuts or sunflower seeds can also make a difference to the saliva generated.

You should also avoid foods that are excessively sweet or excessively sour.

These foods tend to make the body go into overdrive and generate more saliva, just with their odor. The phrase ‘a whiff makes the mouth water’ comes to mind.  If you are susceptible to GERD, you should change your diet to include more fiber, to reduce your acid reflux.

Foods that make you nauseous should be avoided. Such foods, especially when pregnant, activate the gag reflex which can cause the stomach acid to regurgitate into the mouth. This action might force the mouth to secrete more saliva to neutralize that acid.

For people who secrete extra saliva due to a medical condition, there are suction pumps that can be used to remove extra saliva. These pumps are portable and usually battery operated. There are even medicines that can be taken to reduce the saliva being produced by your body.

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