Also known as: drool, saliva flow

What is drooling?

Anytime that saliva flows outside of the mouth unintentionally, this is known as drooling. Drooling is completely normal during the first two years of life when babies don’t have full control of their mouth muscles. It can occur in some normal situations, as well as a symptom of some medical conditions.

What might cause drooling?

Drooling can be related to a variety of different medical conditions, including: 
  • Sinus infections
  • Strep throat
  • Allergies
  • Heartburn or GERD
  • Poisoning
  • Mononucleosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Swollen adenoids
  • Autism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • The use of certain medications

What can you do about it?

If drooling occurs under the age of 4 or during sleep, no medical attention is needed. Teething rings or other cold objects may be appropriate for infants who are drooling as a result of teething.

When should you seek medical attention?

If drooling is severe, does not resolve over time or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s worth visiting a doctor to talk about causes and possible treatments for drooling.

Reviewed by: Suheily Aponte-Rodriguez, DMD

This page was last updated on: December 19, 2019 04:17 PM