When you start this challenge called parenting, you hear horror stories about children. How they spit up, throw up, and all sorts of other “ups” that end in a messy disaster. And let’s be honest, those of us who have experienced those first years know, there is a lot of drool, blood, and other icky things. The laundry piles up and the house is constantly messy. But there is nothing like the love and innocence of a child. But what if you are one of those lucky parents who have a child who is quiet and easy. Did you know some kids don’t drool? Not even when they are teething.
Yes, it’s strange.
It is highly unusual for a baby not to drool. Only about two percent of parents report that their child was not a drooler. Most children are heavy droolers because they don’t have teeth to help hold spit in their mouths. Along with that, it is difficult not to drool when you use your mouth for everything from eating to exploring your world.
Newborns and older drool. But drooling really will take off around two months. This is when babies’ salivary glands are in full effect. At this point, teething can begin as well. It is likely that if your child is unusually not drooling that they are younger. The baby months, like the first 12, are the months that you are likely to see the drooling.
Babies begin to attempt talking very early. They make sounds that can sound like talking. Most babies drool because they are focusing on making a sound. As the brain develops, it becomes better at not drooling. Talking can cause a lot of drooling because the baby is focusing on speaking and not worrying about drool coming out of the mouth. Along with that, talking can help develop the mouth muscles needed to hold the mouth in a way that doesn’t allow drooling.
When to worry:
Every kid is different. So one child might be a heavy roller, and another child hardly drools at all. There are lots of factors that go into drooling. These include the number of teeth a child has, the child’s genetics, and the child’s personality. A child with a quieter personality may not drool as much because they are not opening their mouth to talk or explore. Every kid is different, so just because your child isn’t drooling a bunch doesn’t mean that there is a problem.
But you know that you may have a problem if the drooling or lack of drooling persists. Suppose your child starts to have problems with eating and chewing food. Suppose your child isn’t producing any drool at all.
All of these things are signs that your child may have a problem.
Types of Problems
There are a few problems that may present as a lack of drooling. All of these problems originate in the salivary gland. Salivary gland tumors can halt drool production. There will also be swelling in the salivary gland that makes it hard for your child to eat or swallow. Another problem is an infection in the salivary gland. A child with an infection will have a high body temperature and will likely not be hungry. All of these problems can come on quick and last long term.
There are a few genetic conditions as well that can present the symptom of no salivary gland drool production. However, you will likely know about the genetic condition before you notice the lack of drool production.
The Point of Drool
Although drool in a baby is gross and we sometimes wish it didn’t happen, the facts are that drool has a place in the bodily systems. Drool adds moisture to the mouth and helps with eating. It helps soften food for swallowing. Along with that, in babies, it helps flush bacteria from their mouth. Because they love to put everything in their mouth. Drool is the first line of defense against any bacteria that they may have put into their mouth.
Another aspect of drool is that it is crucial for healthy teeth. It helps keep the teeth clean and hydrated so that they don’t rot. This is why older people whos drool production has lessened may have trouble with their teeth. Dry teeth equal rotted teeth. Drool is helpful in the hydration of the body functions. Hydrating the eating process as well as the swallowing process. Making sure there is plenty of lubrication for food to get to the stomach is one major purpose of drool.
Age of Drooling
Drooling in newborns and babies is normal. But if excessive drooling continues to persist your pediatrician may want to do something to help your child. There are a few surgeries that can be done to help slow down or speed up drool production. If your child is suffering from dry mouth they may need help to have a healthy mouth and life. Four years old is the magic number. If there is excessive or not enough drool at four a child will typically need surgery to help. At that point, teething is over and the body is for the most part developed.
A lack of drooling in your baby may not necessarily be a good thing. A lot of kids just aren’t big droolers especially if they get their teeth early or quickly. However, if the lack of drooling occurs long term then there is likely a problem. Drool plays a purpose in a lot of aspects of life. From hydrating the mouth to help break down food. If you have children you know that they are icky messes. Excessive drool is something you may have to deal with. Hope you enjoyed these tips for if your child is not excessively drooling.