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Digestive Disorders

Excessive saliva

10/01/1998

Question:

During pregnancy I experienced a condition of excessive saliva. I carried a cup with me to spit in because of the huge amounts of saliva being secreted. I am now 46, am not pregnant and am againg experiencing the same symptoms. Should I be concerned and is there a way to stop this abnormal secretion?

Answer:

Hypersalivation may be caused by a variety of conditions, but one of the most common is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a common condition which often appears or is exacerbated by pregnancy. Heartburn is the most common symptom but is not universally present. Excessive salivation (known as water brash) occasionally occurs. If your physician feels that there is no other obvious explanation for this problem, and you have no worrisome symptoms such as weight loss, bleeding or difficulty swallowing, a trial of medical therapy for GERD may well be reasonable.

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Response by:

Michael Patrick Jones, MD, FACP Michael Patrick Jones, MD, FACP
Director, Center for Digestive Motility Disorders
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati