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Hypersalivation Ptyalism Sialorrhea

last modified on: Fri, 04/16/2021 - 16:06

Hypersalivation Ptyalism Sialorrhea

return to: Sialorrhea assessment and intervention in Speech Pathology (drooling)

 Botox injection to salivary glands for hypersalivation
Botulinum neurotoxin treatment of salivary gland disorders 

see also: Transdermal scopolamine and glycopyrrolate for sialorrhea and salivary fistula

intraductal approach:  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lio2.306

see: Facial Dystonia with Sialorrhea (Loss of Saliva or Drooling)


I. Definitions 

 Excessive accumulation of saliva may be due to increased amount of salivary production (hypersalivation)

    a. ptyalism - 'excessive flow of saliva' (Miriam Webster on-line dictionary 2014).

    b. sialorrhea - 'excessive salivation' (Miriam Webster on-line dictionary 2014)

    c. drooling - 'unintentional loss of saliva from the mouth' (Moller et al 2014)

  Excessive accumulation of salivary can also result from decreased clearance of saliva.  

 II. Etiologies by definition

     A. Hypersalivation (salivary overproduction)

           Gastroesophageal reflux disease / Dysphagia/ Pregnancy / Rabies / Pancreatitis / Liver Disease / Serotonin Syndrome / Mouth ulcers /  Oral Infections

           Medications: clozapine, pilocarpine, ketamine, potassium chlorate, risperidone

           Toxins: mercury, copper, organophosphates (insecticides), arsenic

     B. Decreased clearance or inability to retain saliva within the oral cavity 

           Infections: tonsillitis, mumps, epiglottitis

          Neurologic disorders: cerebral palsy, stroke, jaw opening dystonia, facial nerve paralysis, Parkinson's disease, ALS  

          Jaw mobility abnormalities (dislocation, fracture)

III. Treatment

        Consider involvement of other specialists: dentistry / speech pathology (Reddihough et al 2010)

        Consider: behavioral approaches / medications (drying) / oral appliances / surgery  

        See: Botulinum neurotoxin treatment of salivary gland disorders


Moller E, Daugaard D, Holm O et al: Repeated Treatments of Drooling with Botulinum Toxin B in Neurology  Acta Neurol Scand: 2014   

Reddihough D, Erasmus CE, Johnson H, McKellar GM, Jongerius PH: Botulinum toxin assessment, interventionand aftercare for paediatric and adult drooling: international consensus statement. Eur J Neurol 2010 Aug;17 Suppl2:109-21

Adam T. Schwalje MD, DMA, Henry T. Hoffman MD, MS: Intraductal Salivary Gland Infusion With Botulinum Toxin 
First published: 03 September 2019 https://doi.org/10.1002/lio2.306
Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology Original Research Open Access https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lio2.306

Ribeiro LB, Xerez DR, Maliska C, de Souza SAL, Costa MMB. Qualitative and quantitative scintigraphy in sialorrhea before and after botulinum toxin injection. Laryngoscope. 2019 Nov;129(11):2521-2526. doi: 10.1002/lary.27826. Epub 2019 Jan 28. PMID: 30693525.