Mouth | General Practice | Drooling (Symptom)
Drooling is the unintentional spillage of saliva from the mouth.
Some people with drooling problems are at increased risk of inhaling saliva, food, or fluids into the lungs. However, this is unlikely to cause harm, unless the body normal reflex mechanisms (such as gagging and coughing) are also impaired.
Drooling can occur with any condition that impairs neuromuscular control of the muscles around the mouth, that increases the production of saliva, or that impairs swallowing. Cerebral palsy is one example of a condition in which oral neuromuscular control may be impaired, resulting in drooling. Drooling is common in infants because of immature muscular control. Medically, drooling is referred to ptyalism, and an excess of saliva is known as sialorrhea.
Drooling associated with fever or trouble swallowing may be a sign of a more serious disease including: retropharyngeal abscess, peritonsillar abscess, tonsillitis, strep throat, Parkinson disease, rabies, mercury poisoning etc. A sudden onset of drooling may indicate poisoning (especially by pesticides or mercury) or reaction to snake or insect venom or in some cases of a numbed mouth from either Orajel, or when going to the dentist office. Some medications can cause drooling as well such as the pain relieving orajel medication. Some neurological problems also cause drooling.