As you probably know, all babies and toddlers drool a little. It’s perfectly normal, particularly if they’re teething or have a cold.
When you need to seek help for drooling
If they’re less than 12 months old they may not realise there’s a buildup of saliva, or have the coordination to swallow it without the presence of food or drink in their mouth. However, if your child is no longer a baby, yet is drooling so much they constantly have a wet patch on their shirt, or need to wear a bib all the time to catch the extra drool, you should bring them to Kids Chatter for an assessment to find out why it’s still happening.
What causes drooling
While it may be an overproduction of saliva, the most likely cause is that:
- they don’t know how to keep it at bay (lack of swallowing or awareness).
- they haven’t learned to keep their mouth closed, either through habit or incorrect tongue positioning.
- there’s an anatomical reason why they can’t keep their mouth closed such as muscle weakness or swallowing efficiently.
Why it’s important to seek help
Left untreated, it can lead to uncomfortable and itchy rashes on their chin and chest, bacterial infections and dehydration. Their clothing is constantly damp, which means your child will not only feel uncomfortable but may also become self-conscious about it.
How we help your child with drooling
At Kids Chatter, we can determine the most likely cause and then treat it.
If they’re having trouble keeping the drool at bay, we can help them build up the muscle tone around their mouth by doing things such as blowing through a straw and doing lip exercises (some children have low muscle tone in that area, and can’t keep their lips closed to maintain that seal).
These children are often also a mouth breather and we’ll look into why they’re doing it. Do they have a tongue thrust swallow or a tongue tie? Are they suffering from hay fever, adenoid or sinus infections, or a blockage in their nose that’s making them breathe through their mouth? In some cases, we may even refer them to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to see if anything else is stopping them from breathing through their nose.
By eliminating the excessive drooling your child will be happier and healthier.
If your child is over 12 months and is still drooling, please call us today to arrange an assessment on 0432 735 044.