pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Excessive Night Drooling in a Two Year Old

[A mother is worried about her two and a half year old daughter who sleeps with a binky and drools through the pillow at night.]

I am the mother to a fantastic 30 month old daughter. I was wondering if the following is something I should be concerned about. At night time she wakes up a few times during the night soaked through with saliva from drooling so much. I usually have to flip her pillow at least twice a night because it is soaked. Is there something I can do about this or is it something I should be concerned about. I am pretty sure she has all of her teeth, but she does still use a pacifier at night… Katherine A

To be honest, in all my years of hearing about infants difficulties, this is the first time I’ve heard about this specific concern. My guess is that, were you to visit a board certified pediatrician whom you trust he/she would be able to give you assurances that “it was nothing to be concerned about” but tell you to wean her off the pacifier (two is a bit old for the thing anyway – much longer and you may run into dental issues.)

Most individuals begin to salivate immediately when something is placed into their mouth, that’s normal and expected. Most individuals drool in the night – just look at your own pillowcase. So… drooling in the hours of sleep would be expected, especially if something is in the mouth. However, braces, bite guards and other dental appliances usually don’t produce the hyper-salivation you describe, even at night.

Before you were told that however, your doctor should examine the baby’s neck, gums and mouth for sign’s of congenital salivary or swallowing problems or other duct’s, cysts, “lumps” or “bumps” that “shouldn’t oughta’ be there.”

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