Excessive saliva is caused by an increase in the body’s saliva production or a decrease in a person’s ability to swallow or keep saliva in the mouth, says Mayo Clinic. Some causes of increased saliva production include improperly fit dentures, gastroesophageal reflux disease and a mouth or throat in
Causes of excess saliva include eating spicy foods, medication side effects, pregnancy, problems swallowing, and certain medical conditions and diseases, according to WebMD. Poor muscle control in the mouth and face is also a common cause of excess saliva.
Certain foods, medications and medical conditions cause excessive saliva flow, according to WebMD. Too much saliva is usually not a cause for concern unless it persists.
Prescription medications, Botox injections and surgery are treatment options for excess saliva, according to WebMD. The doctor selects treatment based on the cause of the excess saliva.
The enzymes in saliva initiate the digestion process of ingested food and break down food particles that accumulate in dental crevices, protecting teeth from bacterial decay. Saliva also functions as a lubricant, permitting swallowing and preventing desiccation of the digestive tract.
Depending on dietary and health factors, saliva can be an acid, a base or neutral. If the body operates within a normal range, the pH level of saliva stays between 6.5 and 6.8, which makes it slightly acidic.
Salivary amylase, also referred to as ptyalin, is the name of the enzyme found in saliva. Digestion of food begins in the mouth, and this enzyme is instrumental in beginning this process.
Healthy saliva is neutral and non-acidic, with a PH reading of 7.0 or higher. The PH of saliva can change depending on what food and beverages are consumed.
The average human mouth produces approximately 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day. Saliva is produced by several major and minor glands located in different areas in the mouth and circulates through tubes known as salivary ducts.
Thick saliva occurs when the body has a hard time producing enough of it, which is often a side effect of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to Medical Daily. The most common types of medications that produce thick saliva are for allergy, cold and pain.