Drool. It isn’t a topic that comes up very often in everyday conversation, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect countless people every night! Although it may not seem like a significant problem on the surface of things, in some cases it can be a symptom of a more serious issue such as sinus conditions or even sleep apnea in McLean. Find out more about some of the most common causes of drooling and when you should be concerned about it in this blog!
What Causes Drooling?
The root cause of drooling is a lack of control over the muscles in the mouth and throat. During sleep, your muscles are relaxed, so you don’t have the same control over them that you do during daytime hours.
While this is normal and causes everyone to drool at least a little, some people drool excessively. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Medications – A common side effect of several prescription medications is an increase of saliva or simply less muscle control, both of which can cause drooling.
- Diet – If you have acid reflux or eat a lot of acidic foods such as tomato sauce or coffee, you may have excess saliva production.
- Sinus Conditions – You can’t breathe through your nose very well with sinus problems or allergies, which causes your mouth to stay open all night and allow saliva to easily escape.
- Medical Conditions – Brain injuries, Bell’s palsy, or a history of strokes can all cause a patient to lose control over the muscles in their mouth and throat, which leads to drooling.
When Should You Be Concerned?
For some patients, drooling is more of an annoyance than anything else. But, for others, it’s a symptom of a more serious underlying condition that needs to be addressed, such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea causes a patient’s breathing to frequently start and stop throughout the night. It’s important to diagnose it as soon as possible because it increases the risk for all of the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Fortunately, a dentist can make an oral appliance that’s a really effective sleep apnea treatment in McLean. Although the side effects of sleep apnea can be serious, this is one solution that’s easy and non-invasive.
Not to mention the added bonus of preventing nighttime drooling!
About the Author
Dr. Fred Farahi is an award-winning dentist in McLean whose goal is to help his patients have great oral and overall health. That’s why he’s always on the lookout for any underlying causes of drooling such as sleep apnea. If you’re concerned about nighttime drooling and have any questions, he can be contacted via his website or at (703) 821-1633.