Drooling in adults and children over the age of 18 months is most often caused by a neurological condition such a cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease. Cases can be minor or severe, and treatment options are generally prescribed accordingly. Sometimes, adult drooling may also be caused by an overproduction of saliva or by underdeveloped muscles in the jaw and mouth. In rare cases, sinus congestion or infection may also cause adult drooling. You can find a way to stop drooling by first discovering the root cause of your problem, and then discussing treatment options with a medical professional.
For neurological causes, you may be able to stop drooling by taking a medication that has dry mouth as one of the side effects. This is not always an option, especially if you are already taking multiple medications for other conditions. If your drooling is severe or especially disruptive, however, your healthcare provider will likely try various drugs that are safe to take with your existing medications. For mild cases, you may also try putting petroleum jelly in the corners of your mouth to help prevent saliva from overflowing.
Medications may also be prescribed if you have overactive salivary glands. You can visit a nose and throat specialist to have him or her remove or tie off some of your glands or salivary ducts. This will prevent your body from producing excessive amounts of saliva. Botox® injections have proven effective in some patients, while an adverse reaction happens with others, so this is not a highly recommended treatment option.
Infection-related drooling will likely disappear once the offending bacteria has been identified and treated with antibiotics. This should allow you to stop drooling permanently, unless the infection reappears. Nasal congestion may cause excessive drooling, although this is not common, and may or may not be remedied by taking medications aimed at clearing nasal passages. If you have allergies, however, you may have consistent nasal drip, so additional treatments may be necessary if drool is a consistent problem.
No treatment is generally necessary for those who drool in their sleep. This is a relatively common occurrence in both adults and children, and does not usually signal any underlying problem. If nighttime drooling becomes very severe, you may discuss medications you can use before bed or consider using a mouth dam to prevent drool from spilling over your lips. In many cases, a medical professional will not give a patient any medications for nighttime drooling unless a more severe underlying cause is suspected.