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Dr. P. Jyoti
Dr. P. Jyoti, Consultant MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9126
Experience:  17 yrs experience in treating OPD & Emergency patients.
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My mouth keeps filling with saliva. Why?

Resolved Question:

My mouth is filling up with saliva so I have to swallow a lot. I am afraid to fall asleep - thinking I may choke on my saliva build up. I had a cold two weeks ago, no sore throat. Just nasal drainage and coughing. My throat now feels as if I am in a dentist chair, having work done, while they have a water tube and dentist drills in my mouth.
I can swallow food, I have no sore throat. No lumps or pain in throat area.
I just am spitting into a cup every two minutes.
I have no health insurance, (COBRA was finished in 18 months) that is why I am asking for assistance.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. P. Jyoti replied 5 years ago.
As in everything else, there is a wide variation in the amount of saliva that each person produces. Excess saliva is not often a problem because we swallow the saliva automatically without being aware of it. When excess saliva seems to be a problem, the problem often lies elsewhere.
Sinusitis is the most often implicated cause. Sinus secretions travel down the throat and into the mouth, and this can cause a sensation of uncomfortableness and excess secretions.
Any other infection in the mouth, such as tonsillitis or teeth infections, can also cause excess saliva.
A feeling of excess saliva can also be generated due to stress. If you are suffering from stress, you should also discuss with your doctor about anti-stress medications.
Ideally, you should go to your doctor for this. You should ask for treatment for sinus infections and also discuss about stress. Since you have indicated that you are not ready to go to a doctor now, take the following steps:
Take Cap. Benadryl (OTC) one cap daily, this has a drying effect and will help you. It will also help with the sinusitis. It can cause drowsiness.
For the sinusitis:
Fluids: drink plenty of water.
Humidifier: use a humidifier in your room since drying of the sinuses can cause this.
Warm compresses: warm compresses on the sinus areas will give relief.
Vit. C supplement: 1000 mg Vit. C supplements daily (available OTC).
N- Acetyl Cysteine: this is a supplement available at natural food stores which helps drainage.
These steps will help reduce the sinus drainage and also reduce the amount of saliva. Take these steps to get relief.
If you continue to have problems, then you have to approach a doctor anyhow. Discuss with the doctor about sinusitis and other treatments - Scopolamine patch, Saltropine. Surgical treatments like salivary duct re-positioning, submandibular duct re-positioning, etc. are also available as a last resort.
I hope my answer has helped you.
Dr. P. Jyoti and 5 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for your help so far. Here is final jeopardy question:
Is it safe to go to sleep?
Do we swallow in our sleep?
I have been so obsessed with my saliva build up and swallowing, I have no idea.
I asked friends today how often they swallow. They had no idea.
I cant wait to go back to normal swallowing without noticing again.
Expert:  Dr. P. Jyoti replied 5 years ago.
Don't worry about this at all.
Yes, we do swallow regularly in our sleep. Also let me assure you, there is no danger at all of choking on our saliva during sleep. I am an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist and can assure you of this. It is simply impossible. The throat has a reflex called swallowing reflex which automatically swallows any saliva once it touches the pharynx. So don't worry about that.
You are suffering from an obsession with saliva. No doubt you are having excessive salivation due to sinusitis, but your anxiety is compounding a simple problem into a huge one to the extent that you are imagining this to be life threatening. Of course, it is no good just to say, snap out of your anxiety. But you must recognize that anxiety is playing a major role in your condition. Try to get out of it. Go out for long walks. Exercise. Take up different activities, go out for a football game or a film maybe. Go to a bar with your friends. Anything that will get you out of this vicious cycle of anxiety.
Dr. P. Jyoti and 5 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. I will be able to sleep. You are the best.
Expert:  Dr. P. Jyoti replied 5 years ago.
Hope you feel better soon.