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Other namesPtyalism,[1] sialorrhea,[2] water brash
SpecialtyOral and maxillofacial surgery Edit this on Wikidata

Hypersalivation, or ptyalism, also known as Hypersialorrhea or hypersialosis is the excessive production of saliva.[3] It has also been defined as increased amount of saliva in the mouth, which may also be caused by decreased clearance of saliva.[4]

Hypersalivation can contribute to drooling if there is an inability to keep the mouth closed or difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) the excess saliva, which can lead to excessive spitting.

Hypersalivation also often precedes emesis (vomiting), where it accompanies nausea (a feeling of needing to vomit).[5]


Excessive production[edit]

Conditions that can cause saliva overproduction include:[4]

Medications that can cause overproduction of saliva include:[4]

Substances that can cause hypersalivation include:[4]

Decreased clearance[edit]

Causes of decreased clearance of saliva include:[4]


Hypersalivation is optimally treated by treating or avoiding the underlying cause.[4] Mouthwash and tooth brushing may have drying effects.[4]

In the palliative care setting, anticholinergics and similar drugs that would normally reduce the production of saliva causing a dry mouth could be considered for symptom management: scopolamine, atropine, propantheline, hyoscine, amitriptyline, glycopyrrolate.[9]

As of 2008 it is unclear if medication for people who have too much saliva due to clozapine treatment is useful.[10]


  1. ^ thefreedictionar.com > ptyalism Citing:
    • Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. 2007
    • Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. 2009
    • Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 3 ed. 2007
  2. ^ thefreedictionary.com > sialorrhea Citing:
    • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Updated in 2009.
  3. ^ "hypersalivation". Merriam-Webster's Medical Desk Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster. 1986. p. 371 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Medscape > Hypersalivation By Erica Brownfield. Posted: 05/19/2004(registration required)
  5. ^ Clark], [edited by Parveen Kumar, Michael (2005). Kumar & Clark clinical medicine (6th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Saunders. p. 266. ISBN 978-0702027635.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Reynolds, Gretchen. "Well". The New York Times.
  7. ^ thefreedictionary.com > water brash Citing: Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers. 2007
  8. ^ [1] Rheumatology
  9. ^ Medical Care of the Dying, 4th Edition, 2006, Edited by G.Michael Downing MD and Wendy Wainwright, MEd
  10. ^ Syed, R; Au, K; Cahill, C; Duggan, L; He, Y; Udu, V; Xia, J (16 July 2008). Syed, Rebecca (ed.). "Pharmacological interventions for clozapine-induced hypersalivation". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3): CD005579. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005579.pub2. PMC 4160791. PMID 18646130.

External links[edit]

External resources