Drooling is the abnormal condition of saliva driveling from the mouth. Medically termed as ptyalism, it is a common case with babies and children. However, driveling is not an unusual case for adults too. People who have this problem often wake up with a damp pillow, or at times, a poodle of saliva collected in the pillow. Drooling during sleep is not very serious, and you can stop it with simple changes in your sleep behavior. Finding what causes drooling is a prompt step to decide the appropriate treatment approaches.
What Causes Drooling while Sleeping?
In babies, drooling is not a medical concern, and is related to teething in most cases. The problem subsides as the baby grows and milk teeth development is completed. Prime cause of drooling is hyperactivity of the salivary glands leading to excess production of saliva. Then saliva from the mouth falls down in the pillow during the semi conscious state. Likewise swallowing abnormalities and problems in keeping saliva within the mouth are main triggers. Other contributing factors for drooling in your sleep are:
- Breathing through mouth
- Sleeping with the mouth open
- Dental problems
- Sinus abnormalities
- Improper closing of lips
- Enlargement of tonsils
- Nervous system problems
- Medicine that causes excess salivation
Tips on How to Stop Drooling in Your Sleep
Waking up with saliva covering your cheeks is definitely not a pleasant experience. Drooling in sleep and its complications are exacerbated with cough, gag or other reflex problems. In simpler words, such cases are more common during the episodes of allergy and upper respiratory tract infections. The actual drooling treatment is focused on identifying the causal reasons and then addressing them. Here are some useful ways to stop drooling in your sleep.
- While sleeping with your mouth open, the salivary glands are activated, resulting in increased salivation and driveling in your sleep. Thus, avoid this habit as far as possible. While it is not so easy, you can at least try to sleep with your mouth closed.
- Change in your sleeping habits is a necessity. Say for example, if you tend to sleep on your sides, try lying down on your back. This will reduce the chances of saliva dripping from the mouth. Similarly use more pillows to keep your head in an elevated position.
- An effectual tip is breathing through nose. In most cases, it is observed that people who drivel in their sleep breathe through their mouth. So, see to it that you don't indulge in mouth breathing during the daytime.
- In case you have the same tendency to breathe through mouth, adopt different deep breathing exercises regularly during the day. They are the simplest yet effectual ways to breathe through nose and de-stress yourself.
- Make a point to treat sinus infections, nasal allergies and alike conditions at the earliest. An untreated nasal congestion and postnasal drip contribute a lot to drooling in your sleep.
- If excess saliva production is caused due to adverse effect of medications, talk to the concerned physician about it. If possible, the doctor will change the prescriptions to combat drooling in sleep.
Breathing through nose with mouth closed and sleeping on the back are useful remedies for addressing drooling problem. Drooling when sleeping is not only a matter of embarrassment when you share your bed with others, but it increases the risks of saliva and liquids getting into the lungs. So, follow the above mentioned self-care approaches and behavioral changes, and most likely, you will get over this unpleasant habit.
In case you do not succeed in treating the drooling problem with home care tips, do not feel hesitant to visit your doctor. The health expert will try to find out the causal factors and suggest corrective measures for them. Inability to breathe through the nose usually stems from respiratory conditions. So, if such is the case, diagnosing the root causes and treating them correctly will surely stop drooling during sleep.