What Causes Water Mouth?
A watery mouth is a result of an excess in the production of saliva. Most people experience it in anticipation of a meal. Usually, excessive secretion of saliva is a temporary phenomenon. However, in some cases, it may be an embarrassing symptom of an underlying condition. Saliva is secreted by salivary glands located in oral cavity.
Watery Mouth Symptoms
Some of the symptoms that are associated with watery mouth:
- Frequent Swallowing
- Drooling: A person is often found drooling when there is excess of saliva accumulated in the mouth. This is common when he is not able to swallow saliva. Frequently the symptom is present in person suffering from stroke, Bell’s palsy, Parkinson’s Disease.
- The most common symptom of watery mouth is the tendency to spray saliva when you talk. Though not a serious symptom, it is a cause of annoyance to others and embarrassment for you.
- Watery mouth may also cause difficulty while speaking. A person may have slurred speech when he has accumulated saliva in his mouth.
Watery Mouth Causes
- A normal cause of a watery mouth is the production of saliva in anticipation of eating. The desire to eat food, or the flavor and scent of the food stimulates the salivary glands to produce excess of saliva. This is a physiological process, whereby excess of saliva is utilized to soften the food as it is chewed. Saliva also helps in proper digestion.
- Excessive salivation is also found in elderly persons wearing dentures. An ill-fitting denture, or a person wearing new dentures may often experience watery mouth.
- The salivary glands, which are found all over the mouth produce an increased amount of saliva. Saliva is the first step in digestion and is used to soften the food as it is chewed.
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), in many cases, may appear with excessive salivation as one of its symptoms. Heartburn and acid reflux are other notable symptoms of this disease. An obese person or people suffering from hiatus hernia are at a risk of suffering from acid reflux disease.
- Pregnancy: During the early months of pregnancy, women may experience watery mouth and nausea throughout the day. The reason is attributed to constant hormonal changes during pregnancy.
- Many a times, upper respiratory tract infections and allergies such as acute and chronic sinusitis, tonsillitis, or an allergic cold can cause increase in saliva production.
- Stomatitis is swelling of the inner lining of the mouth. By secreting excess saliva, the body tries to alleviate pain and burning sensation in the mouth.
- Certain anti-epileptic medicines are also responsible for stimulating the salivary glands to produce excess saliva.
- A polyp or a tumor in the salivary glands may cause excess production of saliva in the mouth. Inflammation of salivary glands may result in flooding of saliva in the mouth.
- Insect poison and snake venoms may cause excess of salivary secretion.
- There are certain diseases wherein a person is unable to swallow the saliva due to weak muscles. In such cases, the saliva remains stagnated in the oral cavity leading to watery mouth. These diseases are Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke and Myasthenia Gravis.
Watery mouth may also accompany other symptoms. For example, watery mouth and nausea usually go hand in hand.
Other possible causes of watery mouth include:
- Complications in saliva production: Some problems with the salivary glands may cause them to produce in excess.
- Medications: Although most medications like antidepressants are expected to cause dry mouth, some do just the opposite.
Treatment of Watery Mouth or Excess Saliva Secretion
More often than not, watery mouth is caused by the anticipation of a favorite food. However, when it becomes a continuous thing and if affects a person’s daily activities, it may be time to seek medical attention, especially if it is caused by life threatening issues like poisoning.
- When the problem is caused due to polyps and growths in the salivary gland, surgical removal of the polyp will relieve the symptom.
- If watery mouth is due to intake of certain medications, talk to your doctor for substituting the medicine with other medication.
- If the cause is due to ill-fitting denture, consult your dentist to fix a suitable denture.
- When constant watery mouth is due to upper respiratory tract infection, treat the condition at the earliest.