Drooling in children below four years of age is normal, but excessive salivation could be caused by an underlying medical condition. Scroll down to learn about the various causes of drooling in children and the treatment options that are available to rectify the condition.
Drooling can be defined as the flow of saliva from the mouth, when excess saliva is produced or when the saliva cannot be kept under control. It is a common problem in kids and mostly seen in children having neurological problems. If your child drools after reaching the age of four years, then it’s considered abnormal. Excessive salivation can also increase the risk of infection.
Reasons Behind Excessive Salivation
Saliva acts as a lubricant, which helps in swallowing food. It also aids in proper digestion of starch. It helps in maintaining a good tooth structure in infants. The immunologic and non-immunologic proteins present in saliva are beneficial for treating infections. Though saliva has many uses, excessive salivation should be looked into. Here are some of the most common causes of drooling in children.
Teething is the condition when your child gets a new tooth. When a child is teething, he/she may drool excessively. Some of the symptoms of teething are tendency to chew everything, irritability, lack of sleep, and restlessness.
10-20% of the children suffer from allergic rhinitis, every year. Allergic rhinitis can be of two types, viz. seasonal allergic rhinitis due to pollen and grass, or perennial allergic rhinitis due to dust mites. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing and itching of the nose, eyes, and throat, swelling as well as watery eyes. It may also cause open-mouth breathing and excessive salivation.
Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder seen in children aged below three. It is accompanied by loss of motor function and involuntary spasms. Congenital brain problems, jaundice, head injury, and childbirth defects can cause cerebral palsy. Due to this disorder, there are chances of excess salivation.
At times, bacterial infections, viral infections, congenital lesions, facial paralysis, and mouth disorders could also cause a child to drool excessively.
The most important thing that you should keep in mind is that the drugs mentioned below should be given to children, only under the strict instruction of a qualified doctor.
Atropine sulfate is a drug given to reduce salivation and other bronchial secretions. The side effects of this drug depends upon the dosage given. Some of the side effects being drying of nose, mouth, and retarded heart rate. It is advisable that this medication should not be taken in combination with some other drugs.
Glycopyrrolate is another drug that reduces salivary secretions in children. Common side effects of this drug, include constipation and dryness in mouth. If your child suffers from bloating or any other gastrointestinal disease, then it is recommended that he/she should not be given this drug.
Good oral hygiene is essential. Providing your child with a clean teething ring, massaging the gums gently with your fingers and topical application for the teeth can help teething discomfort in your child.
Though it is normal for babies to drool, medical help must be sought if a child drools excessively. Drug therapy can help in treating excessive salivation.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.