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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

What to do to get thin saliva back!

10/27/2003

Question:

Due to lack of thin saliva, the constant need to cough up thick saliva, which provokes spitting, and / or sneezing, or choking on soup - what to do to elminate this? In addition to this, no voice to be heard because the thick saliva collects around the voice box

Answer:

Changes in thickness of saliva often occurs when we get dehydrated. Before you consider some other causes, you might want to increase the amount of water you consume in a day. In addition to increasing water consumption, you should eliminate or decrease your consumption of beverages that encourage dehydration, like: Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Mountain Dew, Mellow Yellow, coffee, caffeinated teas, etc. There are some medications that can thin out the mucus. The main ingredient in Robitussin (guaifenesin) is excellent at thinning out secretions. It sounds like the mucus is the main problem that you have. Once that is controlled you will be in good shape. Good luck with this problem. 

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati