My Mouth Keeps Watering: What Do I Do?

Female Open Mouth

Saliva is an important component of your mouth, helping you digest your food and serving as a natural mouthwash for your teeth. However, it turns out that you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to your spit. If your mouth constantly waters, you could be suffering from a condition known as hypersalivation. Excessive salivation can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and unhealthy. It may be a symptom of more serious issues, so it is important not to ignore it. At Dr. Cindy Flanagan’s Houston dental practice, we assist patients with all sorts of oral health issues, including hypersalivation. We want you to understand what’s happening with your smile and how to proceed to protect it. In the following blog, we explain what you should do if your mouth keeps watering.

Why Does Your Mouth Water?

Before we discuss excessive salivation, it’s important to understand that everyone’s mouths water from time to time. In fact, this is a very important bodily function. Live Science explains that, when you think of your favorite dishes or smell an especially tasty treat, “all that saliva accumulating in your mouth isn’t just an indicator that you find some particular meal delectable—it’s also an important step in the digestion of said delicious food.” In other words, you need this spit to help you eat. Live Science continues: “Your mouth secretes saliva (up to 1.5 quarts a day) that moistens your food and also contains enzymes (special kinds of proteins) that help break down the food before it reaches your stomach.” In addition to these enzymes, your saliva contains powerful cavity-fighting proteins.

In the proper proportion, saliva is a great help to your stomach, teeth, and body in general. However, if you produce much more than the usual 1.5 quarts per day, it could become a problem rather than a helpful solution.

Hypersalivation Symptoms

Many people with excessive mouth watering recognize their condition right away. However, sometimes symptoms can be subtler. You may be suffering from hypersalivation if:

  • You feel the need to constantly swallow.
  • You regularly want to spit just to clear your mouth out.
  • You notice a large amount of drool on your pillow after sleep.
  • Saliva drips out of your mouth during daily activities.
  • You find it difficult or uncomfortable to eat or drink given the large amount of saliva in your mouth.

If you experience any of the above, do not hesitate to contact our Houston dental practice for assistance.

Common Causes

There are many potential sources of hypersalivation. Your mouth may keep watering due to:

  • Infection. This is just one more reason to practice excellent oral hygiene and attend preventive care appointments every six months. Gum disease and other types of infections can lead to hypersalivation as the body attempts to fight them.
  • Oral ulcers. A more serious issue like oral ulcers could also be the culprit for excessive watering.
  • Diet. Your mouth could be salivating excessively due to the foods you eat. For example, Medscape explains that “excessive starch intake” can lead to overproduction of saliva.
  • Acid reflux. If you suffer from heartburn, your acid reflux could be contributing to inordinate watering.
  • Side effects. Certain medications lead to hypersalivation. Medscape lists “clozapine, pilocarpine, ketamine, and potassium chlorate” as some of the medications known to produce this side effect.
  • Toxic reactions. Constant mouth watering could be a sign of toxins in your system, which is just one more reason to take hypersalivation seriously. According to Medscape, poisoning from “mercury, copper, organophosphates, and arsenic” could lead to this condition.
  • Jaw injuries. Certain trauma such as “fracture or dislocation” of the jaw can lead to excessive mouth watering.
  • Neurological issues. Hypersalivation can also be a symptom of certain neurological disorders, such as “myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, rabies, bulbar paralysis, bilateral facial nerve palsy, and hypoglossal nerve palsy.”

These are just a few of the most frequent culprits, but, as we described, there are a variety of conditions that can cause hypersalivation.

What to Do

So, if your mouth waters all the time, what do you do? In the short term, you may be able to temporarily alleviate hypersalivation “with the use of mouthwash and tooth brushing, which might have a drying effect.” However, for a better answer, we recommend that you come see Dr. Flanagan at our Houston office as soon as possible. We will examine your mouth, review your records, discuss your symptoms with you, and conduct any other necessary diagnostic tests to determine what exactly is causing your condition. Once we know the cause, we will create a customized treatment plan to help you stabilize your salivation. For example, you may need to treat your gum disease, switch to a lower starch diet, repair your jaw injury, or see a specialist for further assistance.

Does Your Mouth Keep Watering?

We can help! Contact our Houston dental practice today to find out more and schedule an appointment with Dr. Flanagan.

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