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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Excessive saliva

Excessive saliva

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Excessive saliva is usually a temporary problem and rarely a cause for concern. Normally, your salivary glands produce 1 to 2 quarts (0.95 to 1.89 liters) of saliva a day. However, because swallowing occurs continually and unconsciously, you don't generally notice the saliva


Causes of increased saliva production include

  • Pregnancy
  • New dentures
  • Inflammation of mucous membranes of the mouth (stomatitis)
  • A side effect of certain medications, such as clozapine, isoproterenol, pilocarpine and reserpine
  • Damage to the nerves that control the salivary glands

Causes of decreased ability to swallow or to retain saliva in the mouth include:

  • Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease or cerebral palsy
  • Nasal obstruction, such as due to allergies, sinus infection, nasal polyps and enlarged adenoids
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Bell's palsy

Treatment of persistent, excessive salivation is directed at the underlying cause, if possible. Anticholinergic medications, such as transdermal scopolamine, can be used to decrease saliva. Although anticholinergics may help in severe cases of drooling, these medications aren't always effective and can cause side effects