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Sialorrhea

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Sialorrhea is drooling or excess saliva that you cannot control. It may be caused by weakness or loss of control of the face, tongue, mouth, or throat muscles that makes it difficult to swallow. It may also be caused by conditions that increase saliva production, such as gastric reflux or the use of certain medicines.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You choke and cannot breathe.

Call your doctor if:

  • You continue to drool, even with treatment.
  • You have increased episodes of choking.
  • You have redness, pain, sores, or chapping in or around your mouth.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be used to reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. These include pills, inhalers, or patches.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Attend therapy as directed by your healthcare provider or specialist. Therapists will help you strengthen your face and mouth muscles so you can control your saliva. They will also help you with your posture, and show you how to hold your head to prevent drooling.
  • Practice good oral care. Brush your teeth 2 times a day, 1 time in the morning and 1 time in the evening. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Floss your teeth 1 time each day, usually in the evening. Use alcohol-free mouthwash after you floss. Swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out.
  • Use suction as needed to remove saliva from your mouth and prevent choking. Use the portable suction machine that you are given. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about suction.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, tea, soup, juice, or milk.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.