You unconsciously roll over in bed one night, and all of a sudden, you’re completely awake, and one side of your face is entirely covered in…your own drool. This isn’t the first time this has happened, as you usually wake up in the morning with a fresh puddle next to your head. You want it to stop, but what can you actually do about it? How do you break a habit that only occurs when you sleep? Your Canton dentist is here to help! Here are the top 5 ways you can stop your nighttime drooling.
1. Stop sleeping
1. Change your sleeping position
One of the most common causes of nighttime drooling is side sleeping. In this position, it’s easy for the mouth to open and allow saliva to dribble out. The solution? Try sleeping on your back. This will enable you to naturally swallow your saliva during the night so it doesn’t end up on your pillow.
2. Home Remedies
Another way you can make yourself drool less is to suck on a wedge of lemon or any other tart citrus fruit right before you go to bed. Some people believe this causes the saliva to become thinner, making it less likely to pool and spill out. Or, you can try drinking more water during the day. Staying adequately hydrated is not only good for your overall health, but it will thin out your saliva as well.
3. Oral Appliance
An oral appliance is similar to a custom-made mouthguard, and you can get one from your dentist in Canton to help you stop drooling and/or snoring. You’ll only need to wear it to bed, and it will slightly alter the position of your mouth to prevent these nighttime annoyances.
4. CPAP Therapy
Drooling is often the result of snoring, and snoring can sometimes indicate that a person is suffering from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that causes a person to frequently stop breathing for short periods of time during the night. This prevents someone from getting the deep, restful sleep they need, so if you frequently drool in addition to constantly feeling exhausted, then you probably need to consult your doctor.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. For this, a patient wears a mask to bed that is connected to an air pump that forces oxygen into the airway to keep it open throughout the night, helping a person maintain normal breathing while they sleep. Alternatively, your dentist can also prescribe an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea. Once someone’s sleep apnea is under control, they should also experience less drooling.
It is possible to completely remove the salivary glands surgically. This is the most extreme option, and a doctor will likely only recommend this if your drooling stems from a serious underlying neurological issue.
What to Remember
In most cases, drooling during sleep is nothing to be concerned about, and if changing your sleeping position doesn’t help, your next call should be to your doctor. They’ll help you figure out what could be causing it, and from there, they might send you to a dentist to get an oral appliance. That way, you can wake up to a nice, dry pillow every morning.
About the Author
Dr. Ben Bratcher is a Canton, TX based dentist and proud veteran of the United States Air Force. At his practice, he and his colleagues provide a comprehensive array of dental services to help local families enjoy healthy and beautiful smiles. If you need a little help with nighttime drooling, just give him a call, and he’ll be happy to offer solutions. He can be contacted through his website.