Why do babies salivate so much: Drooling and Your Baby – HealthyChildren.org
Baby Choking on Saliva: Causes and Solutions
It’s worrying to see your baby choke on saliva. This is common when babies are teething and usually passes without treatment. But if baby chokes persistently, stop relying on your own diagnosis because it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Consult a doctor for observation, any necessary tests and treatment.
Potential Causes of Baby Choking on Saliva
1. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can cause the baby’s tonsils to swell. Swollen tonsils can block the airways, leading to pooling of saliva which may cause the baby to choke. Other symptoms may include:
- Uneven breathing characterized by pauses lasting for up to 20 seconds
- Repeated pauses in breathing lasting less than 20 seconds
- Slowed heartbeat
Infant reflux occurs due to a weak esophageal sphincter. This causes some food to leave the stomach and get back up the throat, leading to baby choking. You need not worry about this common condition as your baby will usually get over it by the first birthday.
Asthma can cause your baby to choke on saliva. The inflammatory condition affects the airways and lungs, causing swelling and tightness. In the case of an acute asthma attack, the lining of a baby’s airways are irritated and swollen. This leads to overproduction of mucus and tightening of the muscles in the airways, causing rapid breath, wheezing and even choking.
Besides asthma, colds and allergies can cause overproduction of mucus and make baby choke on saliva.
How to Deal with Baby Choking on Saliva
1. Do Not Try to Solve the Problem By Yourself
While this condition might look like an easy problem that you could try to solve by yourself, you might make it worse or cause new problems. It is better to seek medical care.
You might think that laying your baby on his or her stomach will help drain any excess saliva from the throat, but this position will increase your baby’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
It is also dangerous to give your baby medications meant for adults or older children. These include decongestants and acid reflux medications.
2. See a Doctor
Baby choking on saliva can be caused by several reasons, so you should not diagnose by yourself. Consult a pediatrician who will examine your baby and determine the cause of the problem. Once the doctor has a diagnosis, it will be easier to come up with a treatment method.
- A case of swollen tonsils may require tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils).
- If a cold or allergy is to blame, related treatment will help solve that problem.
- In some cases, the pediatrician may advise that you change your baby’s sleeping position, including putting him or her to sleep on the side or raising the head of the crib. These changes may be all that is needed to resolve the problem.
Other Parents’ Experiences
“My baby is just over two months old. He’s just woken up from a deadly choking with lots of foaming saliva. He was very distressing and gasping with every breath. I had to pound his back to clear his throat and get out all the fluid. Then I wiped it from his mouth to prevent him from swallowing it back. I also cleared his nostrils using a nasal aspirator.”
“This was the fourth time it happened in two weeks. The little one had his four-week checkup two days ago. I asked the pediatrician about the choking and she said it could be silent reflux. She suggested I hold baby upright when it occurs and use a syringe bulb to clear his mouth. She also said there is medicine for the choking if it persists.”
“Every time I feed my baby, I give him his formula mixed with rice cereal, and then keep him upright for 30 minutes to one hour. I don’t even lay him down for a diaper change or a bath before that time. This has been very helpful. By the time he was 2 months old, he was already free from baby choking on saliva. He’s now 4 months and there’s no choking. I would suggest you try rice cereal and see what happens. Of course, talk to a pediatrician first. This was approved by my baby’s pediatrician.”
Treating Drool & Dribble Rash in Babies – My Expert Midwife
Baby dribbling is a natural part of a developing baby’s life, but did you know it could lead to an irritating rash? Drool or dribble rash can look unsightly and make a baby feel upset, miserable and uncomfortable. Drool or dribble rash can usually be resolved quickly, but it can even be prevented with some simple steps.
In this article, you will find out:
- What dribble rash is.
- What causes it.
- How to treat and prevent dribble and drool rash to keep the baby happy and comfortable.
Drool rash is just another name for dribble rash. Dribble rash occurs when excess saliva runs uncontrollably from a baby or infant’s mouth, irritating the delicate skin and causing sore, inflamed, raw patches if left for prolonged periods. These raw patches may present with small red bumps on the skin.
Baby dribble contains digestive enzymes that break down the skin’s protective layer, leaving it open to chafing, irritation, and damage.
If you notice a rash has developed around your baby’s mouth, or there is sore skin on their cheeks or neck from drooling a lot – most likely due to teething – then keeping the affected area clean and dry is important to help prevent it from worsening and potentially becoming infected.
Some babies dribble lots, making them more susceptible to dribble rash. But there are certain times when salivation increases.
In adults, these periods of increased salivation do not tend to cause a problem, as we can swallow it down or even spit it out. However, babies have an underdeveloped mouth, tongue and swallow techniques, all of which can lead to babies drooling a lot.
The most common causes of a baby’s excessive drooling leading to dribble rash include:
It is believed that when babies are teething, their salivary glands increase the saliva they produce as a natural pain reliever for sore gums. If they don’t swallow all that extra saliva, it comes out as dribble.
Babies also want to chew more, especially on teething rings and other firm toys, when they experience teething discomfort. Using pressure against their gums is another form of pain relief. Because their mouths tend to be open during chewing, much of the excess saliva produced will dribble out, which will likely lead to dribble rash.
As babies develop their fine motor skills, their hand-eye-mouth coordination enables them to pick up things within reach, such as toys or food (or even you!), bring it to their mouth and chomp away. Babies use their mouths to explore the world and will put anything and everything in there to learn more about it. Putting things into their mouths will increase saliva production and dribble!
Some illnesses, such as colds or oral thrush, will cause babies to dribble more. Colds and respiratory illnesses may mean they need to breathe more through their mouths if their noses are blocked, increasing saliva and dribbling.
Oral thrush can also cause irritation and discomfort, and, as with teething, this may cause the salivary glands to produce increased amounts of saliva which, if not swallowed, will dribble out of their mouths.
When babies start weaning from about six months of age, it can be messy! Their taste buds are developing, and they are discovering what tastes they like or dislike. They are getting used to moving bits of food around their mouths, and this increased activity of their teeth, gums, and tongue increases saliva production.
If you are concerned that your baby’s rash looks infected and/or they have other symptoms, such as a fever, we would advise you to speak to your doctor.
If your baby has developed a rash around their mouth or sore skin on their cheeks or neck from dribbling, keeping the area clean and dry is important to help prevent it from worsening and potentially becoming infected.
- Use warm water and a gentle wash that supports your baby’s skin integrity to keep their skin clean without disturbing your baby’s skin microbiome.
- Gently wipe your baby’s skin completely dry with a soft burp or muslin cloth, and do not rub, as this will irritate the skin further.
- Have a steady supply of clean, dry, and absorbent bibs or burp cloths to soak up excessive saliva and help prevent dribble rash on your baby’s neck and chest.
- Apply our unique Totally Immense Dribble Defence to calm and protect your baby’s sensitive skin and create a soothing barrier. Remember to apply a thin layer to your baby’s face, chin, neck, and chest before bed to protect your baby’s skin overnight. You can also use petroleum jelly as a barrier against excess saliva. However, you may want to use a fragrance-free moisturiser such as Mega Mild Moisture Milk to soothe and prevent dryness.
A note about allergens
Very rarely, your baby may be sensitive to certain foods, including cow’s milk. Allergens can increase how much your baby dribbles, and as those allergens come into contact with their skin, they can cause a rash.
To minimise this, introduce different foods individually when weaning your baby. If you are breastfeeding and suspect your baby may have a food sensitivity or allergy, seek advice from your healthcare provider. Look into eliminating different food groups from your diet one by one, and see if this makes a difference.
Prevention is better than cure! And, when it comes to your baby, this is even more relevant – you will do anything you can to keep them happy. At My Expert Midwife, we have put together some tips to help prevent dribble rash.
- Use a soft, absorbent cloth or bib to soak up that excess saliva and wipe gently
- Use a fragrance-free gentle baby wash to clean away the dribble, as the enzymes in saliva irritate delicate baby skin
- Change your baby’s clothing when wet and soaked in saliva, as prolonged contact with a baby’s skin leads to rashes
- Apply a baby-specific dribble barrier to your baby’s chin, cheeks, neck and chest
- Avoid scented lotions, which can further irritate your baby’s skin, and petroleum jelly, which does not allow your baby’s skin to breathe
- Reduce the time your baby chews on teething rings and other toys – the more baby chews, the more their salivary glands will go into overdrive, and the more dribble will occur
Whatever is causing your baby to dribble, the key to avoiding dribble rash is to keep their skin clean and dry and use a soothing and protecting fragrance-free barrier product specifically developed for sensitive baby skin. If treated quickly, dribble rash should not cause your baby any problems and can be dealt with easily with our simple tips.
Our team of Registered Midwives at My Expert Midwife have developed a range of natural skincare suitable from newborn onwards, fragrance-free, paediatrician approved, dermatologically tested and suitable for eczema-prone and sensitive skin. And our Mega Mild Cleansing Wash and Totally Immense Dribble Defence have been designed with problems such as dribble rash in mind. For more information about our range and to learn more about the importance of baby skincare, head over to our baby skincare range.
Hypersalivation or increased production of saliva
Hypersalivation – several times increased production of saliva against the background of hyperfunction of the salivary glands. The problem, another name for which is ptyalism, can appear both in adults and in the smallest. You can determine the violation by frequent swallowing, runoff of oral fluid at the corners of the mouth. Hypersalivation often causes the development of cheilitis, that is, jamming when cracks and painful ulcers appear. Often people with this problem notice wet marks on the pillow after sleep. With ptyalism, irritation of the skin around the mouth occurs. It turns red and after a while a rash may appear. Increased salivation is considered a variant of the norm only in the smallest children up to six months. During this period, the glands are actively developing, while the child himself does not control the frequency and timeliness of swallowing. During teething, this problem can also be observed. Adults may have situational hypersalivation: with hunger, the use of certain drinks and foods. If the increased salivation is constant, then pathological hypersalivation is already diagnosed.
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Causes of hypersalivation
There are true and false hypersalivation. In the first case, one can observe an increase in the volume of saliva several times. In the second, we are talking about a violation of swallowing, while the production of saliva is within the normal range. In some cases salivation occurs only during sleep: nocturnal ptyalism. The reasons may be pathological bite, gastritis, pathology of ENT organs. Pregnant women often face this problem due to changes in the hormonal background and in the work of the gastrointestinal tract. Causes of persistent hypersalivation can be:
- Worm infestation.
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, which are accompanied by nausea.
- Neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy, stroke, neurosis.
- Epidemic encephalitis.
- Inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity.
- Inflammation of the salivary glands.
Increased salivation: causes, treatment methods
Saliva plays an important role not only in digestion, but also in oral care: it facilitates swallowing, washes food residues from the teeth, dilutes and breaks down acids, protecting teeth from them, helps to remineralize enamel, preventing the development of caries. It would seem that saliva is good, and if so, then the more it is, the better, but this is far from being the case. If a lack of saliva can lead to caries, then its excess (hypersalivation) is fraught not only with constant discomfort and difficulties in communicating with people, but also with an increased risk of infections and respiratory diseases, up to pneumonia.
How to recognize hypersalivation
If you are not sure if you have increased salivation, then these signs indicate it:
- You have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds clearly.
- Salty food tastes too salty and subtle flavors are not perceived well.
- It hurts to swallow.
What causes the body to produce too much saliva?
Sometimes salivation increases temporarily – in which case it should not be a problem. In what cases is increased salivation normal, and there are no reasons for serious concern?
- When baby teeth erupt;
- During age-related hormonal disruptions;
- After having braces or dentures fitted, or if there are foreign bodies in the mouth;
- While eating.
If salivation is constantly increased and is in no way connected with the above reasons, then the reason may be, for example, in the development of some disease. Among the reasons for the constant release of large amounts of saliva:
- vascular diseases;
- diseases of the thyroid gland;
- gastritis or ulcer;
- pathologies of the central nervous system;
- inflammation of the tonsils;
- constant stress;
- bad habits (smoking, hookah and others).
If you experience this problem, the best option is to seek medical advice. The method of treating hypersalivation directly depends on the reason for which it arose, and only a specialist after a thorough examination can establish the real cause, and he will also recommend effective treatment. For example, if the cause is inflammation of the tonsils or a diseased tooth, then it will need to be removed.
To determine the cause of persistent salivation, see a dentist who will help with oral diseases or refer you to another specialist if the cause of hypersalivation is something else. In most cases, your doctor will prescribe medication – in rare cases, if you have excessive salivation, you may also be prescribed massage or surgery.
How to reduce salivation
What to do before visiting the doctor? Since drugs that can help with excessive salivation are recommended to be taken only as directed by a doctor, there are ways to temporarily alleviate hypersalivation with folk remedies:
- Mix a tablespoon of Knotweed (water pepper) with a glass of warm water;
- Mix two tablespoons of crushed fresh raspberries with hot black tea, strain and cool.
If excessive salivation regularly bothers you, and then goes away on its own, then it may be worth reconsidering your diet: try adjusting it by eliminating pasta, bread, potatoes and other starchy vegetables.