What causes watery mouth?

Answer

The Mayo Clinic states that the cause of excessive saliva, or watery mouth, is either an increase in the body’s saliva production or a decrease in a person’s ability to swallow and keep saliva in the mouth. According to the Mayo Clinic, increased saliva production is caused by gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, new or unfitting dentures, mouth or throat infection, certain medications, pregnancy and stomatitis.

The Mayo Clinic notes that rare causes of increased saliva production include tuberculosis, syphilis, rabies, mercury poisoning, esphageal atresia, Bell’s palsy and arsenic poisoning. When a person has a poor ability to swallow or retain saliva in the mouth, the Mayo Clinic notes that the main causes are allergies, acute sinusitis, enlarged adenoids, chronic sinusitis and tumors that affect lip or tongue movement.

According to WebMD, a person with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can make as much as two teaspoons of saliva per minute. However, this is not a common symptom. WebMD notes that although the main reason for why it happens to some people only is not yet established, experts believe that the glands in the mouth that produce saliva react to having acid in the mouth by creating more saliva.

Neil Bateman, a consultant ENT surgeon at the Royal Hallamshire and Sheffield Children’s Hospitals, explained to The Daily Telegraph that anti-reflux treatment is a possible treatment for patients who suffer from watery mouth due to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. If reflux and infection of the salivary glands are not the cause, he advises that patients see a dentist to check for inflammation or infection in the mouth.

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