Excessive serous saliva – a significant quality of life issue

Excessive serous saliva, also referred to as sialorrhoea is common in people with neurological conditions and is often problematic and embarrassing. Alexander McGeachan and Christopher McDermott have written a very useful review, published in the April 2017 issue of Practical Neurology. The abstract from that review states:

“Sialorrhoea is a common and problematic symptom that arises from a range of neurological conditions associated with bulbar or facial muscle dysfunction. Drooling can significantly affect quality of life due to both physical complications such as oral chapping, and psychological complications such as embarrassment and social isolation. Thicker, tenacious oral and pharyngeal secretions may result from the drying management approach to sialorrhoea. The management of sialorrhoea in neurological diseases depends on the underlying pathology and severity of symptoms. Interventions include anticholinergic drugs, salivary gland-targeted radiotherapy, salivary gland botulinum toxin and surgical approaches. The management of thick secretions involves mainly conservative measures such as pineapple juice as a lytic agent, cough assist, saline nebulisers and suctioning or mucolytic drugs like carbocisteine. Despite a current lack of evidence and variable practice, management of sialorrhoea should form a part of the multidisciplinary approach needed for long-term neurological conditions.”

To read the paper in full, which is freely available please click here