How To Stop Drooling In Your Sleep: 10 Tips

How To Stop Drooling In Your Sleep: 10 Tips

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Last Updated on Aug 22, 2022

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    Did you feel your mouth drooling? Well, that often happens even with a subtle thought of delicious food. However, drooling while sleeping can be abnormal if the saliva overflows from the mouth.

    Drooling can embarrass people by needing to wipe out their mouths frequently or spitting in sleep. In addition, waking up in the morning to a pillow filled with smelly saliva can be a nightmare for many. If you or your close ones have been facing this problem, you might want to know 'how to stop drooling in your sleep.'

    Drooling in a deep sleep is common. However, sometimes it can be a symptom of neurological conditions such as sleep disorders and medication side effects. It can also be due to post-health problems such as cerebral palsy. Let us now understand how to prevent drooling at night.

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    Switch up Your Sleeping Position

    Embarrassing saliva spots on your pillow at night might make you think about how to stop drooling. However, knowing the reasons behind excess saliva accumulation is of utmost importance. If you have a drooling problem due to side sleeping or stomach sleeping, it can be due to sleeping position. Try to switch to sleeping on your back. 

    According to the law of gravity, sleeping on your back will help saliva go down the throat. In addition, invest in a comfortable mattress that will support your spine while you are asleep. With practice, you will be able to switch your sleeping position. If you still find it difficult to sleep on your back, try placing a pillow below your knees for a few days. It will help your lower back to get accustomed to sleeping on your back. You will notice your drooling problem reduced to a large extent.

    Prop Up Your Head

    Dripping saliva can be an arduous problem. However, the solution for it should not always be complicated. If you are wondering how to stop excess saliva at night, then an ideal pillow and a correct sleeping position will help you with the same.

    The apt way to mitigate the drooling problem is to prop up your head a little while sleeping. Propping up your head is an ideal solution, whether you are a side sleeper or a stomach sleeper. With the help of a perfect pillow, you can get a better sleeping posture. A Pillow with a high loft increases pressure on cranial and cervical spine alignment. Thus, an ideal loft pillow will keep your sleeping posture comfortable. Back sleepers should use the medium loft pillows with down materials and keep them between your neck and the bed to fill the space.

    Stay Hydrated

    Humans' average daily saliva production varies between 0.5 and 1.5 liters. The approximate whole unstimulated saliva flow rate is 0.3-0.4 ml/min. This rate increases while doing stimulating activities and decreases while sleeping. Saliva consists of 99% water and only 1% of proteins and salt. Thus, a person facing a drooling problem loses excessive saliva from the mouth while sleeping. Saliva loss thus leads to dehydration. Hence, staying hydrated will help the person to mitigate drooling effects.

    Treat Your Allergies

    Drooling problems can be due to allergies. If you are allergic to something, your body will produce more saliva to flush the toxins. Thus, the accumulated saliva comes out of the mouth while sleeping. The drooling problem can be due to seasonal allergies, sinus congestion, and sore throat. 

    Seasonal allergy symptoms are itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Mold and pollen are the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies. In sinus congestion, the nose gets blocked due to inflammation making breathing difficult. Hence, the person facing sinus problems breathes through their mouth. Mouth breathing can cause saliva to pass through the corner of the lips leading to drooling problems.

    Due to a sore throat, the bacterial infection causes swallowing problems. Red and white patches are visible in the throat and swollen glands. Due to less swallowing, saliva comes out as a drool in sleep. Consulting an ENT specialist for a proper diagnosis can be beneficial in mitigating the drooling problem caused by the above-mentioned symptoms.

    Get A Mouthguard

    A mouth guard is beneficial when a person has a drooling problem due to jaw misalignment. The joints in front of each ear, called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), connect the lower part of the jaw to the skull. A jaw is misaligned when one or both of the TMJ points pull out the lower part of the jaw. 

    Jaw misalignment can create swallowing and breathing problems that eventually lead to drooling. A mouth guard can help with snoring and breathing problems, especially in TMJ and sleep apnea. Custom-fit mouthguards suggested by doctors may be expensive, but they are comfortable. Mouthguards may make you drool more initially, but gradually your mouth will get accustomed and control the excessive drooling while you sleep.

    The good news is that the FDA has approved the marketing of a mouth device to reduce snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. The mouth device helps to improve tongue muscle function and curbs the tongue from collapsing backward and impeding the airway during sleep.

    Consider Medication

    Doctors will prescribe medication to reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth. In medication, medicines such as glycopyrrolate and scopolamine are suggested. Glycopyrrolate solution helps to mitigate drooling caused by a health condition such as cerebral palsy. Scopolamine has proved to help reduce drooling in disabled patients. 

    However, the above-mentioned medications may have adverse side effects such as:

    • Dizziness
    • Itchy eyes
    • Drowsiness
    • Increased heart rate
    • Dry mouth

    Disclaimer: Before considering any medicine mentioned above, consulting your doctor is essential.

    Look Into Injectable Treatment

    Slobbering can be caused by bruxism and sialorrhea health conditions. Bruxism means teeth grinding, and sialorrhea means excessive salivation. Botox has been proven to be effective in both. Both medical conditions are a result of neurological disorders. With the help of botox treatment, teeth grinding and drooling problems can be reduced to a great extent. Botox is not an FDA-approved treatment; however, it is an effective way to cure Bruxism and Sialorrhea. Botox treatment involves injecting the affected muscles that cause teeth grinding or excess saliva production. 

    However, there are certain side-effects of Botox treatment, such as 'drooping smile,' i.e., the smile is one-sided, and the eye on the affected side is not closed properly. In addition, some patients may experience a loss in bone density at the injected place. Thus, if your concern is 'how to stop excess saliva at night', then going for botox treatment in some instances can be considered.

    Disclaimer: Before considering any medication, doctor consultation is important. 

    Speech Therapy

    A proper diagnosis of a drooling problem can direct to appropriate treatment. Once the physician understands the root cause of excess saliva accumulation in the mouth of the person, they can guide accurately on how to stop slobbering in sleep. Thus, a physician can recommend speech therapy if needed as per the diagnosis. Treatment is provided to improve jaw stability and tongue strength, and mobility. Moreover, the person can close his lips fully after a consistent speech therapy course. Though results may take time to show effectiveness, the person learns self-skills to improve swallowing and reduce drooling problems.

    Manage Your Stress

    If you are wondering how to stop salivating in sleep effectively, then managing your stress is the way to go. A study shows that stress, anxiety, and depression affect adults' unstimulated salivary flow rate. 

    Though stress is inevitable in today's lifestyle, practicing meditation, mindfulness, and a positive mental attitude should be practiced by the patients facing drooling problems.


    A doctor suggests surgery as the last option when all other treatments have failed for the patient in severe drooling such as hypersalivation. Surgery includes removal of salivary glands, alteration of salivary gland ducts, and reduced nerve connections to salivary glands. Surgery is recommended for people who suffer drooling during wake hours.

    What Causes Drooling While Sleeping

    Drool is the excess saliva in your mouth that escapes through the sides of your lips while you are asleep. Drooling happens as the swallowing muscles are relaxed in a deep sleep. Thus, the saliva accumulates in the mouth and passes out. Though drooling can happen once in a while, it can be excessive in some cases. Excessive drooling can be termed sialorrhea and hypersalivation medically.

    Your Sleeping Position

    Patients facing drooling problems are curious to know 'why do I keep spitting in my sleep.' A person's sleep position can affect how much saliva is released from the mouth on the pillow. For example, when a person sleeps on their back, the saliva goes back to the throat due to gravity. In side and stomach sleepers, gravity pulls out the saliva, causing a person to spit while sleeping.

    Infections And Allergies

    Infections and allergies such as sinus infections and seasonal allergies can cause breathing problems. The person facing breathing problems tends to do mouth breathing, eventually leading to drooling. Other infections such as tonsillitis and mononucleosis can also cause drooling. This timely treatment of infections and allergies can be a prevention to your drooling problem.

    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

    Gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD) is related to digestive health conditions. The lining of the esophagus is damaged when the contents of the stomach flow back into the esophagus. GERD can cause difficulty in swallowing, called dysphagia. The person might feel like you have a lump in the throat leading to drool at night.

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder interrupting the breathing process in sleep. Breathing stops many times at night as the upper airway is blocked. The soft tissue existing in the rear of the throat is collapsed. As a result, the pressure on the diaphragm and chest muscles increases, and they need to work harder to open the airway. Thus, the person tends to breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing can thus lead to drooling problems and is considered a sleep disorder. 

    Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea are as follows

    • Snoring
    • Fatigues
    • Dry mouth or sore throat
    • Restlessness 
    • Night sweats
    • Headaches

    If you have any of the above-given symptoms, consult your doctor to receive proper treatment. 


    Bruxism is the excessive grinding of teeth. It is a sign of the temporomandibular joint syndrome. Teeth rubbed against each other make the jaw move forcefully side to side or back and forth. It leads to interrupted breathing as the airway is blocked. Hence, the person tends to breathe through the mouth, leading to drooling. 

    The symptoms of bruxism are as follows:

    • Teeth are flattened and chipped
    • Increased tooth pain
    • Tight jaw muscles
    • Headache
    • Snoring
    • Sleep disruption

    Medication Side Effect

    Drooling can be a side effect of certain types of medicines. Antibiotics, antipsychotic drugs, and other medications are responsible for causing drooling. If you are on ongoing treatment and experience drooling at night, those medicines might be causing the problem. Check the side effects of prescribed medicines. Also, consulting your doctor and asking for alternative medicine will be beneficial. 

    Underlying Medical Conditions

    Underlying medical conditions such as neurologic disorders can cause swallowing difficulty. Pain while swallowing or unable to swallow completely can cause a drooling problem. Nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Bell's palsy are some examples that can be the reason for excessive saliva accumulation in the mouth. Stroke is another condition where blood is unable to reach the brain due to blood clots. Thus, stroke disorder can eventually lead to swallowing or drooling problems.

    Is Drooling During Sleep Normal?

    Saliva production varies daily according to a circadian rhythm. Saliva is produced more during the day while performing activities and less at night in sleep. The mouth and throat are kept lubricated by saliva. Drooling is possible in continued saliva production.

    Drooling is considered normal in sleep; however, excessive drooling can be a symptom of an underlying disease. Moreover, it can cause bad breath, dehydration, and chapping of the lips. Thus, if the drooling problem persists, consulting a physician is essential to get personalized medication upon proper diagnosis.

    Complication From Drooling

    Drool at night is an embarrassing situation and can impact the health and psychological condition of a person. The person's self-esteem and confidence are reduced to a great extent. Drooling can also cause lung infection when saliva gets inhaled, leading to pneumonia. Thus, a person should consult a physician if the drooling problem persists.

    When To See A Doctor

    Drooling is common while a person is in a deep sleep. However, if the condition is severe and you want to get rid of it, a consultation with a doctor can be beneficial. A doctor can recognize the underlying medical condition and direct you to accurate treatment.

    Final Words

    Drooling while sleeping or spitting in sleep is a problem that should never be ignored. It can be an underlying medical condition in many cases. Timely treatment is essential to prevent any other severe effects. A person facing an excess drooling problem should check their eating habits. Sour foods can be the reason for excess saliva formation in the mouth. If timely treatment is not provided, it can also affect the person psychologically. Moreover, self-management skills to prevent any disease can help the patient understand how to stop slobbing problems.

    However, a little drool while thinking of your lip-smacking pizza should never be a problem!

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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