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7 causes of excessive saliva or hyper-salivation

Salivating too much? There could be an underlying cause according to doctors.

Saliva is the clear liquid secreted by the salivary glands that plays an important role in digestion. It helps moisten food, form bolus and break it down with its enzymes. There are times when we drool too much, like while thinking about our favourite foods or imagining something sour, but excessive production of saliva can be an indicator of an underlying cause.

Sweet or hot foods: Are you tempted by the sight of your favourite sweets? Can t resist spicy foods? That may be the culprit behind excessive drooling. According to Dr Suhas Patwardhan, sweet, hot or spicy foods can trigger excessive production of saliva.

Obstruction in the parotid duct: Dr Saifee Dohadwala lists obstruction in the parotid duct as a cause of excessive saliva production. The duct helps transport saliva from the gland to the mouth. Sometimes, stones can form in the duct causing an obstruction in the flow of saliva. Apart from this, any other kind of obstruction in the duct, resulting either from an injury or a blockage, can cause excessive drooling.

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Inflammation of the salivary glands: Another reason why you are drooling too much could be because of the inflammation of the salivary glands. Humans have three major salivary glands: the parotid, the submandibular and the sublingual glands. Inflammation of any one of the three can cause excessive production of saliva, according to Dr Patwardhan.

Teething: Drooling in children is common and most parents don t worry about it unless the kids start hyper-salivating. Between six and eight months, babies start getting their first teeth or milk teeth as they are commonly called. This process is called teething where new teeth start emerging from their gums. Dr Patwardhan says that excessive drooling in this stage is common.

Poor oral hygiene: If you have been experiencing excessive drooling, it s time to take a good look at your oral hygiene habits. Dr Dohadwala names poor oral hygiene as a factor that contributes towards excessive saliva production. So ensure you brush, floss and gargle to maintain good oral hygiene.

Pellagra: Pellagra is a deficiency disease caused by low levels of niacin in the system. One of the symptoms, according to Dr Dohadwala, is excessive drooling. Check your niacin levels and include niacin rich food in your diet to avoid this condition.

Rabies: Dr Dohadwala names rabies as one of the causes for excessive drooling. The painful spasms caused around the muscles of the throat and the larynx cause the person suffering from the disease to hyper-salivate.

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