Abundant salivation: causes and treatment in adults

Perhaps there is no need to explain what the salivation process implies. The oral cavity is filled with secretion produced by the salivary glands.

Reflex actions are not controlled by a person, but under the influence of various factors and due to certain conditions of the body, the amount of saliva secreted can greatly increase, which serves as a signal of malfunctions in the functioning of organs and systems of vital activity.

Most people themselves notice that they have increased salivation. In medicine, this phenomenon is called hypersalivation. In a healthy person, the normal level of salivation is 2 mg every 10 minutes. But when a person is sick, or his condition simply changes, salivation can either increase or decrease.

Causes of severe salivation

What does it mean? When saliva is released very abundantly, that is, more than this can be enough, they say about increased separation, or the so-called hypersalivation.

There are several factors contributing to the development of this state:

  • the use of certain drugs, which may have increased saliva secretion as a side effect;
  • metabolic disorder;
  • neurological diseases;
  • acute poisoning or toxicoinfection;
  • otorhinolaryngological pathologies.

Causes of increased salivation in adults are usually associated with diseases of the digestive system and neurological disorders, and causes of increased salivation in children with acute respiratory viral infections and chronic diseases of the upper respiratory tract (tonsillitis, adenoiditis, sinusitis, otitis media). Increased salivation in children under one year is most often the norm.

Causes of increased salivation in adults

Hypersalivation or increased salivation in adults is always a pathology. An increase in the amount of saliva can be caused by diseases of the oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract, taking certain medications and other causes.

  1. Increased salivation always accompanies infectious and inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity and pharynx - stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontitis, tonsillitis, acute respiratory viral infections. This is a protective reaction of the body, which allows timely removal of infectious agents, their toxins and tissue breakdown products from the oral cavity. Strong salivation in this case develops in response to mechanical stimulation of the nerve endings of the oral cavity.
  2. Various diseases of the gastrointestinal tract also cause a strong salivation in adults. These may be duodenal ulcers or stomach ulcers, acute gastritis or erosion. With cholecystitis, the majority of patients significantly increase the amount of saliva released per day. It is important to know that diseases of the pancreas, for example, pancreatitis, also intensively stimulate the salivary glands.
  3. Involuntary salivation occurs when facial paralysis (it can be a symptom after a stroke), in this case, a person can not swallow at all, even liquid food.
  4. Various mental disorders or stress significantly stimulate hypersalivation. However, it should be noted that this reason is not so common. Increased salivation may be a symptom of CNS disease. This is due to the fact that the muscles that are involved in the act of swallowing are weakened. This pathology leads to the fact that the patient is not able to swallow the entire amount of saliva produced. Hypersalivation is the first sign of Parkinson's disease.
  5. Inflammation of the salivary glands or parotitis is an infectious disease characterized by inflammation of the salivary glands. Inflammation of the parotid salivary glands leads to the fact that the face and neck of the patient swell and increase in size, which is why the disease was called "mumps".
  6. Deviations in the thyroid gland. Hormonal imbalance can stimulate increased salivation, i.e. disturbance in hormone production. This often happens in people who have problems with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Diabetes mellitus, which is an endocrinological disease, also sometimes leads to hypersalivation.
  7. Mechanical irritation. These can be dentures, dental procedures and manipulations, chewing gum, candy and any foreign bodies that may cause irritation in the mouth.
  8. Side effect of drugs. Some pharmaceuticals may have a side effect in the form of increased salivation. Nitrazepam, pilocarpine, muscarine, physostigmine, and lithium are most common.
  9. Pregnancy. In women in this position, heartburn can be the cause of copious saliva.

If you have saliva left on a pillow after a night's sleep, you need not worry: sometimes salivation occurs before you wake up. People then say that a person is sweet, which means that he was fast asleep. But if you are worried about strong discharge, it is better to consult a doctor, who after analyzing the saliva will determine the real cause of hypersalivation.


Diagnosis is to conduct the following medical events:

  1. Collection of complaints (anamnesis) - the duration of signs of salivation, the presence of other symptoms.
  2. Analysis of life, as the cause may be heredity or adherence to bad habits in the form of smoking and alcohol.
  3. Inspection - checks the condition of the oral mucosa, the absence of damage to the tongue and palate.
  4. Accurate determination of the amount of saliva secreted and its enzymatic analysis.
  5. Consultation with other specialized specialists (dentist, neuropathologist, parasitologist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, etc.) to determine the causes of increased salivation.

Depending on the results of the diagnosis, an effective treatment of abundant salivation will be selected. It is necessary to understand that treatment without revealing obvious reasons is almost impossible.

How to treat increased salivation in adults

In the case of increased salivation in adults, it is necessary to begin treatment with a therapist, realizing that the fact of active saliva flow is a signal of abnormal body function. The therapist, in turn, if necessary, will give a referral for consultation with a narrower specialist.

Depending on the root cause, specialists can prescribe a treatment associated with it, that is, they do not treat hypersalivation itself, but eliminate the problem that led to its occurrence. It may be dental, gastroenterological, neurological or other methods.

Sometimes in especially critical cases, doctors can prescribe a specific treatment, acting on the abundant salivation:

  1. Method for removing (selective) salivary glands. This may in some cases lead to abnormalities in the functioning of the facial nerves.
  2. Radiation therapy, as a method of scarring salivary ducts,
  3. Massage of the face and exercise therapy is used for neuralgic disorders,
  4. To temporarily block the excessive work of the salivary glands, they can be injected with botulinum toxin.
  5. Cryotherapy. Long-term treatment method, allowing at the reflex level to facilitate the swallowing of saliva.
  6. Anticholinergic drugs as rid of hypersalivation (scopolamine, riabal, platifillin, and others). They suppress excessively strong production of saliva.

In adults, the main treatment in severe salivation is to bring the salivary glands to normal operation. Thus, with hypersalivation, all acute and chronic diseases should be cured, since it is most likely that they provoke profuse salivation.

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