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What Does It Mean To Drool In Your Sleep
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Why Dogs Slobber
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This article was analyzed by Jason R. Mc Hattoki, MD, a family medicine physician and associate professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine.
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You wake up from a deep sleep, your pillow is wet or your cheek is smoothed with drool. Bleeding while sleeping can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially if you’re sleeping next to someone you’re trying to impress or sleeping in a semi-public place like an airport terminal.
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Doctor. Neil H. Patel, a family physician at Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital says that while it can be annoying, “hair loss is natural and usually not a cause for concern.”
However, some minor medical problems, such as dry mouth, can cause more drooling, and in rare cases, some serious medical conditions, such as neurological conditions, can have the same effect.
When the mouth is dry, salivary glands are activated to lubricate it, Patel says. So if you become dehydrated or sleep with your mouth open, these glands can produce more saliva, causing drooling in your sleep.
How to treat: Stay well hydrated throughout the day. Then, if you wake up thirsty throughout the night, keep a glass of water by your bed.
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If you have an upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies, your body produces more saliva. This helps remove bacteria or irritants from the nose, throat, and mouth, but can also increase drooling while you sleep, says Dr. Thomas Michael Kilkenny, director of the Sleep Medicine Institute at Staten Island University Hospital.
Allergies can also cause nasal congestion, forcing you to breathe through your mouth. This can dry him out and start producing saliva in his sleep.
How to treat it: Treat seasonal allergies with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Claritin or Zyrtec, Patel says. If you have an upper respiratory infection, you may need to let the disease run its course. But if it lasts more than a week or two, see a doctor.
Some people with acid reflux experience excessive saliva production as a symptom of the condition, Patel says. This can cause acid reflux while you sleep, as a large dinner and lying in bed can make acid reflux worse.
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How to treat it: Focus on treating acid reflux with home remedies such as increasing your fiber intake and making lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller meals. Over-the-counter antacids can help if your reflux gets worse, but you should talk to your doctor if you need to take them regularly.
Sleep apnea is a condition that impairs people’s ability to breathe while they sleep. According to Patel, the irregular breathing this causes causes people to breathe through their mouth and increases the risk of leakage during sleep.
In addition, people with sleep apnea are more likely to have other conditions, such as sleep bruxism or teeth grinding, which can also increase the likelihood of drooling because it stimulates the salivary glands.
How to treat it: Talk to your doctor if you think you have sleep apnea, or if you experience other symptoms, such as fatigue or snoring. Treatment includes weight loss, lifestyle changes if you are overweight, and devices that regulate your breathing, such as a CPAP machine.
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Some medications increase saliva production. This is called drug-induced sialorrhea, or excessive salivation, and can cause more saliva to be produced at night. These medicines:
How to treat it: Talk to your doctor if you notice bleeding after starting a new medication. Talk frankly about the benefits of medication and the discomfort of nocturnal discharge.
Any condition that affects the neurological system can affect saliva production, make it difficult to close your mouth at night, or affect your ability to swallow, Kilkenny says.
For this reason, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and stroke can increase the risk of nocturnal discharge. If you have any of these conditions, you may also notice other symptoms of a neurological disorder, such as headaches, changes in memory or cognition, or tremors.
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How to treat it: Talk to your doctor about medications that reduce saliva production. Working with a neurologist and speech, physical, and occupational therapist can also help, Kilkenny says, although behavioral interventions are limited if you’re unconscious during sleep.
If you sleep on your stomach or side, it is more likely that saliva will fall out of your mouth during sleep due to the force of gravity.
How to treat it: Train yourself to sleep on your back or focus on sleeping with your mouth closed.
However, if you notice a sudden change or if your drooling is affecting the quality of your sleep, don’t delay, see your doctor. In addition to the lifestyle changes mentioned above, there are more aggressive treatments or prescription medications that can reduce saliva production and help reduce nocturnal discharge, Patel says.
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“You know your body better than anyone else, so if you’re concerned or worried, see your healthcare provider right away,” she says.
Kelly Burch is a New Hampshire-based freelance journalist who writes about finance, health, family and more. His work has been published in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Forbes. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter or learn more here.
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It seems innocent enough and you’ll forget about it by wiping it off your pillow, but if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, you could have an infection, an allergic reaction, or even an indigestion.
Think back to the last time you had a cold or the flu: it was hard to breathe through your nostrils, so it was easier to breathe in and out through your mouth.
If your nose is stuffy or stuffy, your mouth can stay open while you sleep, literally causing you to drool, says Shawn Nasseri, MD, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon.
Mucus can be the cause, but things like nasal congestion or any obstruction like a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or enlarged adenoids can cause or worsen mouth breathing, Dr. Nasseri says.
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Fix it: If you’re congested, she suggests using a mild saline solution to clear your nose.
If you think you may have an anatomic obstruction (permanent blockage of airflow in your nose), talk to your doctor about appropriate treatment.
Whether you’re sensitive to tree pollen or dust mites, allergies are no joke for those who struggle with them. If your allergies are getting worse, excessive drooling and nasal congestion during the day, especially at night, is normal, says Dr. Nasiri. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), you may have a dry cough, shortness of breath, or itchy eyes.
“When we sleep, nasal congestion worsens because blood flow to the nose and head increases,” she says. And when you try to sleep with a stuffy nose, you tend to breathe through your mouth, which makes it easier to drool.
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When you have a sinus infection or strep throat, the nervous system causes your throat to swell, making it difficult to swallow saliva. As a result, Dr. Nasseri says, people breathe through their mouths, produce more saliva, and eventually drool.
Other throat infections, such as mononucleosis, can also cause strep symptoms, including a sore throat and fever, according to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Fix it: See your doctor, who can diagnose and determine if you need antibiotics. In the meantime, Dr. Nasseri recommends drinking plenty of fluids
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