You wake up, and like most mornings, there is a fresh puddle of drool on your pillow waiting for you. While this is adorable when babies do it, last time you checked, it’s been a little while since you were an infant! What is causing you to drool so much in your sleep? Is it something you should be concerned about? To help you rest a little easier (and hopefully a little drier), your Canton dentist is going to share the top 7 reasons people drool in their sleep.
1. Sleep Position
If you sleep on your side, your mouth can relax to the point that it actually opens, allowing saliva to dribble out. An easy way to stop this is to simply try sleeping on your back.
Allergic rhinitis (which is basically a fancy term that means “a stuffed up or runny nose due to allergies”) causes the mouth to overproduce saliva. Have your allergies been acting up lately? Try taking an over-the-counter allergy medication and see if this helps with both problems.
3. Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can cause the acid in your stomach to stimulate the esophagus, and this can trigger something called the “esophageal salivary reflex,” which naturally increases the production of saliva in the mouth. The best way to avoid this is to either reduce your intake of foods that lead to acid reflux or take medication to do so.
4. Sinus Infections
If you’re experiencing a sinus or upper respiratory infection, this could make it more difficult for you to naturally swallow while you are asleep, leading to excess saliva that can leak out of your mouth. Want it to stop? Just go see your doctor!
This is a common condition where the tonsils become inflamed and swollen, which also causes them to obstruct the drainage of saliva. You should visit your doctor if you’re experiencing a persistent sore throat in addition to drooling.
6. Night Terrors
A night terror is what happens when half of the brain is asleep and the other half remains awake, and people usually remember them as a vivid dream. This distressed mental state often leads to well-known symptoms such as sleepwalking and sleep talking. They can sometimes occur due to genetics or if a person is under the influence of a sedative, such as alcohol. These can cause a wide variety of reactions in the body, and one of them just so happens to be drooling. To manage/prevent night terrors, you may need to take medication and/or undergo some type of counseling.
Common medications like antidepressants can lead to increased saliva production in the mouth is well, allowing it to spill out as you sleep. It’s best to let your prescribing doctor know about this and ask what they think you should do. In some cases, they may be able to simply switch you to a different medication.
Should I Be Concerned?
While it might be embarrassing, drooling during sleep is usually not a serious problem. Most of the time, it’s the side effect of something else that can easily be treated. If changing up your sleep position doesn’t help, your next stop should be your doctor, and after that, your dentist in Canton. By having you wear a custom-made oral appliance to bed, your dentist can slightly alter the position of your mouth while you sleep in order to prevent persistent drooling (and snoring as well!). If none of the other tips suggested above help, contact a local dentist, and they may have the solution you’ve been looking for.
About the Author
Dr. Mike Hackney has been in the dental profession for more than 40 years, and he currently practices as part of the team at Legacy Dental Group, which proudly calls Canton, TX home. To learn more about how you can stop yourself from drooling while you sleep, he can be reached through his website.