Does anxiety cause excessive saliva?

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This blog answers: Does anxiety cause excessive saliva? What are the reasons for anxiety to cause excessive saliva? What are the possible treatment and management options for excessive saliva? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What are the causes of anxiety? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Does anxiety cause excessive saliva?

Various reports indicate that anxiety can cause excessive saliva in many individuals. Though excessive saliva is not a direct symptom of anxiety due to the presence of a  functional swallow reflex it can be due to the other symptoms that lead to excessive saliva in many individuals who are experiencing anxiety.

Anxiety does not cause severe drooling, but it leads to high levels of saliva that are caused by other symptoms of anxiety. In severe cases, this increased saliva can lead to drooling and spitting which in turn causes higher levels of anxiety in individuals leading to a vicious cycle.

What are the reasons for anxiety to cause excessive saliva?

Some reasons for anxiety to cause excessive saliva are:

Thinking about saliva

In the state of anxiousness, individuals focus on the various bodily reactions that anxiety causes. This can in turn cause individuals to heighten the levels of bodily reaction one such is salvation. 

When individuals think about excess saliva, they often tend to create more saliva. In several cases, this might also lead to drooling.

Unusual positions

Anxiety can cause individuals to settle down in unusual positions with their mouths open. This can further cause individuals difficulty breathing and cause them to produce excessive saliva and drooling when they are tired or sleepy. 

Even though individuals do not have any significant changes in their health, stress, and anxiety can cause excessive salivation when individuals settle down in a strange position.

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder is also known as heartburn or acid reflux which is a common condition seen in individuals who experience anxiety and stress.

 It is found that anxiety can contribute to the heightened symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disorder which in turn worsens an individual’s symptoms of anxiety and excessive saliva or drooling.

What are the possible treatment and management options for excessive saliva?

Dealing with excessive saliva caused due to anxiety or other possible reasons requires a combination of therapy, home remedies, and medications.

Therapy

Therapy options for excessive salvation might involve behavioral modifications or speech therapy. Many individuals who experience excessive saliva due to anxiety can benefit from posture corrections, head control, better swallowing, and tongue control.

Home remedies

Several home remedies can be followed to reduce excessive salivation caused due to anxiety such as drinking a sufficient amount of water can reduce the production of saliva, using mouthwash and toothbrushes can also help to dry out one’s mouth.

Medication

Anticholinergic medication can help reduce excessive saliva production. However, individuals must be aware that these medications might have side effects such as irritability, Constipation, restlessness, and drowsiness.

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:

 

  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are the causes of anxiety?

Anxiety often results from accumulated stress or overwhelming feelings. Some common causes of anxiety include.

  • Increased and challenging situations and demands in day-to-day life.
  • Major changes in family dynamics such as marriage, divorce, death of a loved one.
  • Strain interpersonal relationships
  • Intrapersonal conflicts
  • Ineffective coping mechanisms
  • Comorbid conditions both physical and mental
  • Chronic health conditions
  • Genetic factors
  • Changes in the brain region
  • Overdose of caffeine
  • Prolonged use of medications
  • Significant traumatic experiences in the past or recent times
  • Comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder or any other phobias.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques

 

Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Socialization

 

A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy

 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Medication

Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time

Conclusion

Salivation can be caused by acid reflux exacerbated by anxiousness, or it can be caused by the anticipatory anxiety that anxiety causes. Understanding the cause can be helpful but trying to address anxiety is usually the most effective way to prevent future problems with excessive salivation.

Thus, individuals must focus on various techniques that help them to bring their anxiety under control such that they do not have to face embarrassing situations that leave a long-lasting impact on their minds.

Frequently asked questions: Does anxiety cause excessive saliva?

Does stress increase saliva?

Psychological conditions like stress and anxiety might have an impact on an individual’s salivary flow and bring about changes in the composition of saliva.

What causes too much saliva in the mouth?

A medical condition such as pregnancy or acid reflux can be the reason for excessive saliva in many individuals. Apart from these allergies, tumors or tonsils can cause impairments in swallowing.

How can you stop salivating anxiety?

To stop salvation, individuals require a combination of medication and therapy in a long run however for immediate effect individuals can use distractions that help to reduce their stress and resulting saliva. Individuals can also try and rinse their mouths or drink sufficient water for immediate effects.

Can anxiety cause swallowing issues?

Anxiety can lead to a feeling of a lump in the throat or a sensation of choking which makes swallowing difficult temporarily.

Why do I feel like I have to constantly swallow?

Individuals sometimes feel that they have to constantly swallow due to anxiety and gastroesophageal reflux disease which is acid reflux causing the stomach’s contents to go back and forth to the food pipe and sometimes into your throat.

Citations

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/drooling#:~:text=Anxiety%20can%20play%20a%20role,if%20there%20is%20a%20concern.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318728#Treatment-and-management

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