Chronic Sialorrhea in Adults

What Is Chronic Sialorrhea?

  • Sialorrhea is drooling or excessive salivation1


  • Nerve or muscle condition
  • Problems with brain signaling
  • Muscular problems
  • Excessive secretion of saliva


  • Excessive drooling
  • Skin breakdown around the mouth
  • Infection from the skin breakdown
  • Dehydration or not enough fluids
  • Foul odor
600,000 adult patients are estimated to suffer from
chronic sialorrhea in the United States2-7

Impact on Daily Living5

Closeup of chin and neck area

Interior effects

  • Risk of breathing problems or clogged airway
  • Swallowing or feeding difficulties

Exterior effects

  • Greater risk of infection
  • Skin irritation


  1. Hockstein NG, Samadi DS, Gendron K, Handler SD. Sialorrhea: a management challenge. Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(11):2628-2634. Accessed June 18, 2021.
  2. Kowal SL, Dall TM, Chakrabarti R, Storm MV, Jain A. The current and projected economic burden of Parkinson's disease in the United States. Mov Disord. 2013;28(3):311-318.
  3. Kalf JG, de Swart BJ, Borm GF, Bloem BR, Munneke M. Prevalence and definition of drooling in Parkinson's disease: a systematic review. J Neurol. 2009;256(9):1391-1396.
  4. Prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults - United States, 2005. Centers for Disease Control website. Accessed June 18, 2021.
  5. Walshe M, Smith M, Pennington L. Interventions for drooling in children with cerebral palsy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;11:CD008624.
  6. Tiigimä-Saar J, Taba P, Tamme T. Does Botulinum neurotoxin type A treatment for sialorrhea change oral health? Clin Oral Investig. 2017;21(3):795-800.
  7. What is ALS? ALS Association website. Accessed June 18, 2021.