Q:

How do you stop drooling at night?

A:

Excessive drooling can be controlled with medications such as glycopyrrolate, scopolamine and botulinum toxin A injections, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. If these do not work and drooling is severe, surgical procedures such as denervation of the salivary glands or salivary gland excision may be an option.

Excessive drooling, medically referred to as sialorrhea, is a common problem in children with neurological conditions such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy. The salivary glands produce almost 1.5 liters of saliva per day, notes the American Academy of Family Physicians. Poor saliva control can lead to severe daily and nightly dysfunction.

Before pharmacologic or surgical therapy is considered, it is necessary to find the cause of excessive salivation. In the elderly who use dentures, a poor fitting or broken teeth may cause saliva to escape the mouth, leading to poor control of oral secretions. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is an important cause of increased salivation; treating it may relieve hyper salivation, explains Mayo Clinic. Infectious causes including rabies, syphilis and tuberculosis have also been shown to increase salivation. Other causes that cause increased salivation at night are medications. Clonazepam, clozapine, pilocarpine and certain anti-Parkinson’s drugs have been known to cause excessive salivation as a side effect.

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