All of us have seen our little ones drool once in a while during their childhood either due to teething or cold. However, it becomes a challenge for us if drooling persists in later years.
So today we are going to take up this ‘troublesome drooling’ challenge faced by our Superheroes, its causes, its effects on children, and its treatment options available.
What is Saliva and its Role in our body ?
Saliva is a naturally produced liquid by our Salivary glands.
Saliva contains mostly Water (more than 98%) and many important substances, including electrolytes, mucus, anti bacterial compounds and various enzymes.
Role of Saliva in Our Body
Saliva plays a crucial role in many important functions in our body including –
1. Eating: Saliva helps in chewing and eating.
2. Speech: Saliva moisturizes the inside of the mouth and creates smoother speech. Imagine speaking with dry mouth.
3. Digestion:Saliva helps in digestion of food.
4. Sense of Taste: Saliva is extremely important in sense of taste. Less saliva production can lead to reduced ability to taste or having a metallic taste.
5. Protector: Saliva prevents teeth decay and other gum problems.
What is drooling and its causes?
As we all are aware Drooling is involuntary flow of saliva from your mouth.
Reason for Drooling
For some of our Superheroes, it becomes a challenge to regulate the flow of saliva from their mouth.
There are several reasons including:
1.Poor Sensory Awareness: Because of this a child in unable to retain saliva in mouth and hence drools.
2. Poor Lip Closure: Inadequate lip closure leads to an open mouth posture causing Child to drool.
3. Oro Motor Issues: including Poor Jaw Strength, Abnormal movements/abnormal tone of the tongue and lips etc can cause drooling
4. Swallowing Issues: like reduced frequency of swallowing and difficulty with swallowing
5. Postural Issues: Poor head/trunk control also contributes towards drooling.
6. Medications: Some drugs also cause drooling
7. Excess Saliva Production : due to any oral infection, Tonsils etc
Why we shouldn’t ignore Drooling?
As a Parent we should always not ignore drooling since it has both physical as well as psychological effect on our children.
Effects of ‘Troublesome Drooling’ in children
- Skin infection around Mouth
- Aspiration or in taking of saliva into the lungs causing Pneumonia
- Speech disturbances & Feeding Issues
- Bad odor & Dehydration
- Low Self-esteem
- Social Stigma
What are the Treatment options available to Parents?
Some of the treatment options available to Parents include both surgical as well as non-surgical.
Normally as a first step in management of Drooling protocol non invasive treatment methods like Oral Motor Therapy, Medication and Occupational Therapy are preffered else Surgical interventions are initiated.
- Oral Motor Therapy
- Behavioral management for reinforcement
- Diet modification to reduce acidic foods
- Using Chin Cups or any other oral appliance
- Oral Massages
- Allopathy Medications
- Homeopathic Medications
- Botox Injections
- Radiation Therapy