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Does Sleep Apnea Cause Drooling

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Is There A Connection Between Sleep Apnea And Teeth Grinding

Excessive Salivation | Drooling In Your Sleep | Excessive Drooling | Baby Drooling While Sleeping

Multiple types of research studies have found a higher-than-expected percentage of people have both OSA and sleep-related bruxism.

Epidemiological studies, which examine patient records and datasets, identified that many people with OSA were also prone to grind their teeth. Though not all of these studies have found the same rates of co-occurrence, a general pattern emerged showing a correlation between teeth grinding and sleep apnea.

The same correlation has also been found in studies using polysomnography, which is a type of in-depth sleep study done in a specialized clinic. Because it involves close observation of a sleeper, polysomnography provides greater confidence than some other studies that rely on surveys of self-reported sleep apnea or teeth grinding.

Causes Of Drooling In Sleep

Production Of Excessive Saliva: Saliva is important for us as it contains a lot of minerals and can heal our wounds. But when the body is suffering from some kind of infection, injury, and other medical issues it tends to produce more saliva and this may further lead to drooling in sleep.

Sleeping Positions: Some people sleep with their mouth open while also resting on their belly. This position can also cause drooling.

Nasal Blockage: When you’re suffering from a cold and your nostrils get blocked, you have to breathe through your mouth. This may lead to excessive salivation due to infection as well as the open mouth gives way for the saliva to drool down while breathing.

Let us now see how to stop it.

Why Do People Drool In Their Sleep

Sanja Jelic, MD is board-certified in pulmonary disease, sleep medicine, critical care medicine, and internal medicine. She is an assistant professor and attending physician at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY.

It may seem a little embarrassing: You wake up and your pillow is drenched in slobber. After you wipe the spit at the corners of your mouth, you might wonder, Why do we drool in our sleep?

This article explains some of the most common causes of drooling in sleep and what you can do about it.

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Article at a Glance:

Is Drooling During Sleep Normal

How To Stop Drooling In Sleep

In many cases, drooling during sleep is normal. Saliva production varies over the course of a day, perhaps according to a circadian rhythm. Although people generally produce more saliva during the day and less at night, saliva production continues during sleep. This saliva performs the important task of keeping your mouth and throat lubricated, which is required for good health. Continued saliva production during sleep makes drooling possible.

Although drooling while asleep is often normal, it might lead to unwanted consequences. For example, excessive drooling can cause chapping around the lips and mouth, bad breath, dehydration, and feelings of embarrassment.

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What Is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is when your breathing continually starts and stops while youre asleep. Cases can range from mild to severe. This disorder comes in three forms: Obstructive, Central, and Complex.

Among the three types of sleep apnea, most people experience Obstructive.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, which narrows your airway as you try to breathe in. This can lead to a drop in oxygen levels in your blood.

Your brain then catches on that youre not breathing well, causing you to wake up to open your airway. Most people let out some sort of choke, snort, or gasp when this happens. This pattern can continue throughout the night.

How To Stop Drooling In Your Sleep

Drooling while you sleep is normal, and does not necessarily require treatment. That said, if you believe you drool excessively, there are a number of strategies you can try to stop drooling in your sleep, from lifestyle changes to speech therapy, medication, and surgery. Some treatments are simple, while others are only recommended for more severe cases of drooling. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss what is right for you.

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Cpap Mask Drooling Causes

Drooling because of CPAP?

Waking up in the morning to observe a big spot on your pillow? It would have been caused due to CPAP Mask drooling during the night. While CPAP Mask drooling is not harmful in anyway, it is irritating. As of today no conclusive evidence is present that shows with certainty what the real cause of CPAP Mask drooling is. But it is hypothesized that:

  • It may be because of mouth breathing.
  • It may be due to the use of a chin strap which does not fit properly, hence leaving a little space free between the lips.
  • It may be due to REM sleep, where because of the non-responsiveness of your muscles you may have started to drool.
  • While the exact cause is not known, there is nothing to worry even if you started to drool after starting CPAP therapy. CPAP Mask drooling is completely harmless and usually stops by itself for most people.

    Why Do I Drool When I Sleep: Not Always Serious Disease

    Why Do People Drool in Their Sleep and How to Stop It??

    Weve all experienced it waking up with a wet pillow is something that happens to some people regularly or occasionally. Regardless of the frequency, drooling is a normal occurrence.

    Excess saliva on the pillow can mean that youve had an incredibly good sleep or that you sleep with an open mouth, for example.

    However, excessive drooling can also be a direct indication that there may be some serious health issues going on. That is why, in the following paragraphs, were going to observe the reasons people drool excessively, what drooling may indicate and how you can stop it.

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    Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea

    If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.

    At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.

    You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.

    You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.

    The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .

    Your AHI score shows how severe your sleep apnoea is:

    • AHI of 5 to 14 mild
    • AHI of 15 to 30 moderate
    • AHI over 30 severe

    What Is Drooling In Older Adults

    Your body is constantly producing saliva. Its an important fluid for keeping your mouth hydrated, it helps you digest food, and it even plays a role in your immune system. When everything is working effectively, you may never think about your saliva. However, in certain cases, your saliva may become hard to ignore. One of those cases is when you start drooling.

    Drooling is common and not a problem in young children or sleeping people. The process of drooling is simple: instead of swallowing the saliva your mouth produces, it leaks out of your mouth. There are a wide variety of reasons this can happen, ranging from harmless to potentially serious.

    Occasional drooling happens to most adults, but frequent or significant drooling may point to a problem. Drooling can be the result of too much saliva, the inability to swallow effectively, or the inability to control the mouth and lips. These symptoms can have a number of problems, especially in older adults.

    While drooling isnt necessarily a problem on its own, it is often the result of other health problems. Understanding the signs and causes of drooling can help you get the treatment you need.

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    How To Improve Your Sleep

    The best way to improve your sleep quality is to stop using e-liquids with nicotine or to stop vaping entirely. Without the nicotine, it will be much easier for your body to rest and relax. Without the harsh effects of vaping on your throat, youll breathe better while you sleep.

    However, not everyone is ready to give up vaping entirely. Some people take up vaping as a way to gradually break a nicotine addiction, and others simply like the hobby. Fortunately, you can get better sleep while still vaping. It might not be as effective as quitting completely, but you can make some changes to your vaping habits to get the proper rest you need.

    Try to stop vaping several hours before you go to sleep. This will give your body time to relax and wind down from the nicotine. Youll fall asleep faster and spend more time in deep sleep, which will let your body really rest and recharge. If you like to vape in the evenings, try switching to an e-liquid with less nicotine or with no nicotine at all. The more you reduce your nicotine consumption in the evening, the better your sleep will be.

    Vaping is a very popular hobby, but it does have its health risks. If youre not careful, your sleep quality may suffer, and poor sleep can have a major impact on the rest of your life. To take care of yourself, you should be aware of the effect vaping can have on your sleep, and you should do everything you can to improve your sleep hygiene.

    When To Talk To Your Doctor

    Why Do People Drool in Their Sleep?

    Drooling in your sleep is normal. But, if you are worried you are drooling too much, set up an appointment with your healthcare provider. They can assess whether your drooling could be a sign of an underlying health condition, and provide personalized advice on how to drool less during sleep.

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    Talk To Your Doctor About Other Options


    Medications that affect the salivary glands could help adults who struggle with drooling. The most commonly prescribed medication for this is Scopolamine, which is also known as Hyoscine. This drug is primarily used to reduce motion sickness, vomiting and is sometimes given before surgery to reduce saliva production.

    Speech Therapy

    If the tongue and jaw muscles arent experiencing a full range of motion, your doctor may recommend speech therapy. This course of treatment is also recommended for patients whose lips dont connect when they close their mouths. This solution isnt an overnight cure, but it could help a patient improve over time.

    Botox Injections

    Botox is the Botulinum toxin that is commonly known as a facial injection to smooth out wrinkles. The muscles under the skin that contract create wrinkles as we age, and botox paralyzes these. The same principle applies to the salivary glands, so by injecting Botox into the glands, they will cease to function and stop creating saliva.


    The last resort is to explore surgery, which is only recommended when theres an incurable neurological condition responsible for the drool. The most common method is to remove the salivary glands, and recovery can vary from a few weeks to a few months.

    Oral Appliances For Snoring Or Sleep Apnea Have Important Potential Dental Side Effects

    Surgery for snoring and sleep apnea has potential risks and side effects. As a surgeon writing this post, I feel like I have to emphasize that I know that these risks and side effects exist. In fact, my previous blog post cited the research I have done showing that the risk of serious medical complication after sleep apnea surgery is 1.6%, mainly in those with major medical problems before surgery. The goal of a surgeon and their team is to minimize those risks and discuss them with patients, who can weigh the benefits and risks of surgery. A key part of that discussion is having quality knowledge of surgical risks so that a discussion can be based on accurate information.

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    Is Drooling Normal In Adults And The Elderly

    While it may be common in elderly citizens, its not considered normal, and theres typically an explanation for the drooling. Drooling is often due to either a neurological disorder or a side effect of a medication. For example, a senior adult who is taking drugs for dementia or Parkinsons could produce excessive drool as a result of the medication.

    Often in the case of elderly patients, the drooling occurs during the day as well, whether its due to a neurological condition or a side effect of their prescriptions. Because this can be extremely embarrassing as well as a potential health hazard, drooling as an adult should be addressed immediately.

    Complications With Surgery Or Medications

    Pillow Or Puddle? What To Do About Nighttime Drooling.

    Sleep apnea is also a concern for people who take medications or who have recently undergone surgery. OSA could disrupt certain medications or general anesthesia. Additionally, the breathing problems associated with this disorder could be dangerous for patients post-surgery who are sedated and lying on their backs. For your safety, you should inform your doctor of your sleep apnea before having surgery.

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    Oral Appliances For Snoring Or Sleep Apnea Have Risks Too

    Oral appliances are a possible treatment for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea that work by holding the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. Studies have shown that they can work well for some patients. In fact, I refer a number of patients to my dental colleagues, whether based on my office examination or drug-induced sleep endoscopy. Before referring my patients, I discuss the potential risks of oral appliances that are not life-threatening but that can be problematic. The most likely side effects of oral appliances are drooling, temporomandibular disturbances , tooth pain, and movements of the teeth that can change a persons bite. Tooth movements occur with oral appliances because the forces applied to the teeth, while not excessive, are applied for long periods of time while patients sleep.

    • Most patients experience movements of the teeth, with continued movement over time.
    • There were many types of tooth movements, ranging from pulling the upper teeth backwards to pushing the lower teeth forward to spreading out the teeth of the lower jaw to opening up spaces between the molars .
    • These changes were greater than previous studies had suggested, likely because those studies had not followed people over time as closely.

    Because oral appliances should be worn throughout the night, every night, this study suggests that these tooth movements will be more likely to occur with greater use.

    Why Do I Drool When I Sleep

    The most common cause of drooling while you sleep is so straightforward, you might never have thought of it and it has to do with gravity. The position that you sleep in often leads to drool pooling inside your mouth. People who sleep on their side, or on their stomach, are more likely to drool when they sleep.

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    How Can Treating Sleep Apnea Lower Your Risk Of Dementia

    Dementia is a general medical term to describe the decline of cognitive abilities, including memory, language skills, problem-solving, and thinking that are severe enough to impact your daily life. Alzheimers Disease is one of the leading causes of Dementia.

    New research from the University of Michigan Health Lab reveals that a particular form of Obstructive sleep apnea treatment could minimize the risk of developing Dementia. The treatment is called Positive Airway Pressure Therapy.

    For the study, researchers analyzed people 65 and older with OSA. They discovered that the patients who used Positive Airway Pressure Therapy were less likely to be diagnosed with Dementia over the course of three years compared to those who did not use the therapy treatment. The experts say these findings further solidify just how vital good sleep is to cognitive health.

    Drooling In Sleep Complications

    How To Stop Drooling In Your Sleep With Cpap

    Some instances of drooling during sleep resolve on their own, as with drooling in babies or drooling during pregnancy. Where there is a common medical problem like a sore throat or allergies at the core, the drooling stops once the medical issue is resolved. However, in some chronic or long-term problem, excess drooling can lead to some physical and psychosocial problems such as:

    • Dehydration: Loss of too much saliva from the mouth can cause dehydration.
    • Perioral chapping: The lips and skin around the mouth can become irritated and cracked due to continuous contact with saliva.
    • Secondary infections: Where drooling is caused by an infection, it can also lead to secondary infections.
    • Speech-related problems: People with sialorrhea may also have difficulty speaking.
    • Foul smell: The mouth can acquire a bad smell in people with excess saliva and drooling problems.
    • Stigma and embarrassment: Some people with this problem may feel embarrassed and isolated.
    • Other problems: Research shows that some people with excessive saliva production may also have a poor gag reflex, which in turn can cause problems like spit or food going into the lungs.

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    Change In Sleeping Posture

    Luckily, this simple change can ease your trouble and we suggest sleeping straight on your back. This change will automatically force the salvia to stay in the mouth and swallow through the throat.

    You may feel difficulty in the beginning if you are a hard side sleeper or love to sleep on the stomach but you have to train yourself if you are disappointed with drooling.

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