Managing excess saliva and drooling

We all swallow at least two pints of saliva a day at rest, without even realising it. Some individuals have difficulty swallowing saliva and this can lead to it gathering in the mouth and throat which can cause drooling. The best way to reduce this happening is to remind your body to swallow more frequently, so that the saliva can be cleared effectively.

Below are ideas of how to do this:

  • Take small, very frequent sips of fluids throughout the day.
  • Adjusting your posture. Drooling can be linked to posture. If you’re resting, make sure your head is upright and facing forward. You can support your head with cushions if that helps.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene. It is important to brush your teeth and tongue frequently to help manage saliva.
  • Avoid rubbing your mouth. Instead, try gently dabbing the corner of your mouth. It might be helpful to keep a small handkerchief next to you.
  • Download the ‘Swallow Prompt’ app on your Smart Phone. This app provides regular prompts to swallow the saliva that is gathering in your mouth and throat. Alternatively, set a regular alarm to help you get into the habit of taking regular sips of fluid and reminding yourself to swallow saliva.
  • Trial natural products such as drinking papaya juice, dark grape juice, or sage tea.
  • If these strategies and exercises do not improve your saliva management, please contact your GP for alternative options.

Speech and Language Therapy

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Page last reviewed: 22 February, 2024