Drooling (also known as driveling, dribbling, slobbering, or, in a medical context, sialorrhea) is the flow of saliva outside the mouth. Drooling can be caused by excess production of saliva, inability to retain saliva within the mouth (incontinence of saliva), or problems with swallowing (dysphagia or odynophagia). Frequent and harmless cases are a numbed mouth from either Orajel, or when going to the dentist office. Isolated drooling in healthy infants and toddlers is normal and is unlikely to be a sign of either disease or complications. It may be associated with teething. Drooling in infants and young children may be exacerbated by upper respiratory infections and nasal allergies. Some people with drooling problems are at increased risk of inhaling saliva, food, or fluids into the lungs, mainly if drooling is secondary to a neurological problem. However, if the body’s normal reflex mechanisms (such as gagging and coughing) are not impaired, this is not life-threatening.
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