Excessive Drooling in Babies

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All babies drool occasionally, particularly when they are teething or when they have a cold. Most of the time, drooling is nothing to worry about, but occasionally it can indicate a serious health condition. If your baby is drooling, you can take steps to alleviate her discomfort and to prevent chapping of the delicate skin around her mouth. Report any worrisome symptoms in your baby to her pediatrician.

Drooling begins at approximately 3 months because this is when the parotid glands, the large salivary glands, which are activated by eating. At this age, babies also develop the ability to chew as well as the muscle control to get their hands into their mouths, both of which stimulate saliva production. However, babies haven’t learned how to swallow their saliva yet. When they start gnawing on their hands or toys, the saliva trickles out of their mouths as drool.

Benefits of Drooling 

Washes away bacteria and food particles to prevent tooth decay

It aids digestion by breaking down carbohydrates your baby eats

The growth factor in saliva helps the intestines mature. 

It neutralizes stomach acid

It protects the lining of the esophagus from irritation.

Excessive Drooling

Drooling is a normal behavior for babies, when it is excessive, it can be a signal for concern. When teething starts, babies may drool more than usual, partly because of chewing on objects — which increases saliva production — relieves teething pain.

Babies with generalized developmental delays may also drool excessively if the muscles they use for swallowing are impaired. 

Treatments

Saliva leaking out of your baby’s mouth can irritate the sensitive skin on his chin, neck or chest, creating a bumpy, red rash. 

Treating a drool rash, patiently wash the inflamed skin, pat it dry and soothe it with a lanolin ointment. 

Swallowing large amounts of saliva can also give your baby watery stools, diarrhea and, ultimately, a diaper rash. Using an emollient ointment on your baby’s body can help heal his skin and help prevent further irritation.

 



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