Why does saliva come out during sleep

Drooling in Sleep - How Does It Come and What Can You Do?

Are you one of those people who notice in the morning that the pillow is damp because you drooled again during the night? Sure, you don't notice. But it annoys you. And even worse, you don't know why this happens at night.

In this guide, we will discuss various questions on this topic so that you and, of course, other affected persons receive comprehensible answers to questions that have not yet been clarified. So take a few minutes and read this short advisory text in peace.

Table of Contents

Drooling in your sleep, what is it?

First of all: You don't have to be embarrassed about your drooling while sleeping, which is medically called hypersalivation. This phenomenon can on the one hand indicate that you either slept particularly calmly and relaxed or on the other hand slept very exhausted. And everything that happens physiologically in and with your body during the reming phase (deep dream phase) is firstly subject to psychological influencing factors and secondly cannot be influenced by you. In the following section you will find information on the causes. The following chapter offers you tips with which you too can get your nocturnal "drooling problem" under control.

What causes can lead to drooling in sleep?

Muscle relaxation at night

Especially in the deep sleep phase, a physiological process occurs that you cannot influence while you sleep. Your facial muscles as well as your tongue and jaw muscles relax. In this state, it is quite possible that your mouth will leak something, such as saliva. On the other hand, this does not mean that a person is in a tense or tense state when he sleeps with his mouth closed.

Your sleeping position

This is where the trigger for your problem can be found. If your head slips back while you sleep, your mouth opens uncontrollably. Even if you sleep on your stomach, drooling is anatomically favored. Especially if your chin slips towards your chest. It is not uncommon for the upper jaw to slide over the lower jaw in this position and the saliva has a free run and you drool. Such a moment can occur once and for a short time, but also for a longer period of time and quite often several times during the night. Normally, your mouth can shoot itself even with relaxed muscles.

You drool in your sleep during pregnancy

Nocturnal drooling during pregnancy is a nuisance and nothing to worry about. This phenomenon usually subsides after the third trimester. So roughly when the pregnancy sickness subsides. The drooling seldom lasts until the birth of the new human being.

Medicines can also be responsible.

Keeping your mouth open during sleep may be due to taking CNS depressants.

Check your sleeping position.

Also observe once in which sleeping position the drooling occurs the least. Your partner can certainly help you find an answer to this.

Mental stress as the cause

Sometimes stress is not noticed. Therefore, question this point and try to reduce the stress.

A respiratory disorder

An acute upper or lower respiratory infection, as well as an allergy, can be considered as a trigger for your drooling. Especially if your nose is blocked. Then you breathe in and out through your mouth because there is no other way.
Even a slight deformation of the nasal septum or polyps can also impede nasal breathing, and you are breathing with your mouth open.
Your body is so smart and looks for the easiest way to breathe while you sleep. If that doesn't work with nasal breathing, he will switch to mouth breathing.

The wrong pillow can be to blame.

If your pillow does not fit your shoulder width or if it is too soft or too hard, your body will automatically look for an adequate reclining position for your head while you sleep. It can quickly happen that you slip off the pillow and thereby obstruct your nasal breathing.

What can you do about nightly drooling?

Before you go to bed, clear a nasal congestion. For this, steam baths with an essential oil, salt water or nasal drops help. The right temperature in the bedroom is also important. About 17 degrees are ideal. And also make sure that the air is not too dry. An evaporator dish, in which you put water with Japanese medicinal plant oil, has also proven itself. This keeps the air slightly humid and at the same time allows you to breathe more freely.

In conventional medicine, drug treatment takes place in several stages of treatment, depending on the diagnosed etiology. Firstly, reversible causes are corrected, followed by a change in behavior. Surgery is considered as the last option if the non-invasive measures have not produced a satisfactory result.

Atropine sulfate tablets are used as medication to minimize the flow of saliva. Alternatively, anticholinergics are administered, which also reduce the activity of the acetylcholine muscarinic receptors.
Glycopyrrolate, glycopyrronium bromide or botulinum toxin or Incobotullinum toxinA are prescribed less frequently.

Is your drooling dangerous at night?

You can actually rest assured. Nocturnal drooling is in most cases not dangerous. In the next section, however, you will find a small guide with symptoms that indicate that you should speak to a doctor about your problem.

When should you see a doctor?

If you have any of the diseases listed below.

Sialorrhea or ptyalism is an increased flow of saliva, which can be due to increased saliva production on the one hand and the inability to keep a build-up of saliva in the mouth (salivary incontinence) on the other. Sialorrhea in particular occurs during sleep.
This particularly affects patients with Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cerebral palsy (CS) or a stroke.

The inability to swallow the saliva should also be considered as a cause. Then there is talk of dysphagia or odynophagia. Caution is advised here. Saliva that gets into the respiratory tract can cause a respiratory infection or even pneumonia.

In acute CMD (craniomandibular dystrophy = dysregulation of the entire chewing apparatus), the interaction of muscles, joints and tendons is disturbed. The causes can be psychological as well as functional or biochemical in nature. If the course of a CMD is painful, an unconscious posture occurs during sleep. This can consist of an open mouth, causing the saliva to flow out of the mouth.

If you have a chronic allergy, you should seek a solution with an allergist so that it doesn't just fix the problem of nightly drooling.

It is also known that people who sweat in their sleep have a tendency to drool. The cause of the sweating should be clarified with a doctor. For example, an endocrinologist can determine if thyroid disease is the cause.

If mouth breathing has unconsciously developed into a constant situation, you should consider trying out professionally guided breathing therapy.

Other causes that require medical treatment include:
- an intellectual disability
- Upper digestive tract tumors
- an infection with the rabies pathogen
- mercury poisoning


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