15 answers

2 Year Who Drools Excessively

I have a 2 year old son who drools excessively, nonstop. Whether he's teething or not, he's drooling. We tried getting him to wipe his mouth every time he drooled to hopefully draw attention to it, so he'd stop. That didn't work. Now, we constantly remind him to "shut his lips", but that doesn't last long. He's always got his mouth open and drool coming out. His doctor says he probably just hasn't gained full control of his oral functions (mouth, lips, tongue, swallowing spit, etc). It's just really frustrating because his shirts always get soaked, and he's too old to be drooling like this. Had anyone else experienced this, and if so, any ideas on what we can do to get him to STOP drooling?

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My cousin was 4-5 when he was still drooling. He had tubes in his ears the whole time. Then he had his tonsils and adenoids taken out. No more drooling.

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I can definitely relate to this post!!!! My son soaked his shirts constantly. We dealt with wet shirts and the rashes. At his two year check up I was also told he just lacked control of his oral function and he would grow out of it. At almost 3 we still had major issues. So I researched online and found some "exercises" that are meant to help. I contacted his doctor before we implemented these things and he assured me that it was worth a shot. I am happy to say that it worked. We saw a major improvement after a month and the problem was completely gone two months later. We just added these things in to our day, we never made a big deal out of the activities. Drool awareness was first on our list (which I am sure we were already doing). It is okay to remind him he is drooling. For us, we just asked him to wipe his chin. Some websites suggested getting one of those wrist sweatbands for wiping. We tried it and the novelty wore off for my son after about an hour and he kept loosing it. We got rid of sippy cups and only used the kind with straws. That is supposed to help develop those muscles. Playing "kissy face" was another activity. We had him blow whistles and bubbles....outside activities. You can also rub peanut butter or cream cheese on his lips and have him lick it off. Hope this helps! Good luck!

I am a speech pathologist and have worked with this issue before. It may go away on it's own, but it would be more beneficial to take him for an evaluation with a speech therapist. ECI is a great start! More than likely, his oral motor sensory nerves are not developed and he can not appropiately "feel" the drool and therefore doesn't know when to swallow and is unaware that his mouth is open. Oral motor exercises can also help with the problem. The sooner you get it checked out the better.

Does he know how to drink from a straw? Or maybe suck on a popsicle (frozen fruit bar)? I think that maybe if you worked on the sucking motion with him outwardly it might help him to realize that he needs to swallow when there is wetness in his mouth like that... Some kids take longer to realize they need to swallow and keep their mouths closed. Other than that I would put a bib on him, and then if he gets tired of that or doesn't want the bib I would explain it to him.

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I think he just has an over active saliva gland for now, and he can't help it, making him close his mouth etc. mayt just make him self concious, I don't think he will be able to not drool if this is the case.

We have a 3 1/2 year old who still drools. He has sensory issues and that is one sign of Sensory Issues. Are you using straws cups instead of the other sippy cups? We've noticed less drooling while using the straws. It increases the muscles in the face/mouth area when your child uses the straw. You can get an evaluation by ECI until your child turns 3. We got our child evaluated and he is developmentally delayed in communicating and in fine motor skills and the Sensory Processing Disorder. He had ECI till he was 3 and then we had to switch to a private therapist. We now see a Sante Pediatric Therapist-Occupational Therapist. It has been frustrating, we've tried getting him to wipe his mouth also and he does, however he has to do it alot. We have seen less drooling and some improvement. We use lots of bubbles and this helps build up strength in face. You might want to search Sensory Processing Disorder or Sensory Integration and look at the signs/symptoms and see if there is any other clues that he might have sensory issues.

Is there anything else you can see where your child might be delayed? ECI is free for 6 months and if your child needs therapy, you can get it at your home. They will test your child to see if there is any delays.

Our Son had 4 ear infections and had 2 sets of ear tubes. He had another ear infection and kept coughing, so we took him back to the ENT Dr. and I mentioned that he was drooling. He said that this is a sign he might need his adenoids taken out. We got the adenoids taken out in January of this year. His shirts aren't wet anymore, however he still drools, however not to the point of his shirts getting soaked anymore. You might have the ENT Dr. check him out to rule out the adenoids.

My daughter has had a lot of problems with drooling. I would recommend a consultation with a speech therapist that has some experience with feeding therapy. They will be able to lead you in the right direction & give you specific exercises. I agree though about using a straw consistently, it is great to offer thicker drinks like a smoothie, milkshake, drinkable yogurt. Practice the blowing & kissing. Sometimes it is a sensory issue & they need more feedback to increase their awareness of the extra saliva. He may like one of those rotating toothbrushes, the vibrating star teether, sour fruits or candy. Something to "wake up" his mouth & help him be more aware, & build those muscles up. Good luck!

I am a speech pathologist, and just by what you are saying he should have more oral control at this age. I think you should get him evaluated by a speech pathologist. At the very least they can give you some suggestions after they evaluate him.

even though this is an old post I'm so glad to see it. My son will be 2 in June and drools non-stop. We ask our doctor at every check up and he always says there is nothing to worry about and eventually he'll stop. It drives me crazy though. We go through several shirts and bibs a day because everything gets soaked. And when he's outside his coat is completely soaked. I try telling him to close his mouth which he'll do for about 5 seconds. He knows he's drooling too because he'll see the wet and say drool. i feel like he never breathes out of his nose though so maybe that's the problem. Anyway, I'm happy to read some of these suggestions and would love to know if your son finally stopped drooling!

I think it would be good to take him to and ear, nose and throat specialist. Maybe he has enlarged tonsils or sinusitis that makes him have a difficult time breathing with his mouth closed.

Only time will take care of this. You can't stop him so get yourself some bibs. They'll catch a lot of the drool and you can change them. It will be over before you know it.

My cousin was 4-5 when he was still drooling. He had tubes in his ears the whole time. Then he had his tonsils and adenoids taken out. No more drooling.

My son is almost 18 months and has been drooling like crazy since he was 2 months old. His pediatrician told me that all drooling should stop by 15 months, so when he was 14 months old and it didn't seem to be letting up, she went ahead and referred us to ECI. He's now getting speech therapy 2x per month, and has an OT evaluation coming up in June. His speech therapist basically said that it sort of relates to a lack of sensitivity in his mouth, so he doesn't realize that he needs to swallow. He also has poor mouth posture, which is basically the lack of muscle control your doctor was talking about. She said that it is slightly more common in children with constant sinus or ear infections, but that doesn't have to be the case.

I definitely think that by 2 years old your doctor should be a little more proactive on the issue. You don't want it to become a social issue as your child gets older. You can call ECI and they will come to your home or your child's daycare to do an evaluation, and it won't cost you a thing. I felt like it was worth it if there was ANYTHING I could do to help my son be the best he can be.

For what it's worth, my son doesn't have any other developmental delays and scored at or beyond his age level for his cognitive, motor, and social skills, and he is still benefiting from ECI services.

Good luck! And good for you for looking for an answer!

Have you discussed this with your doctor? I agree with the last post if your doctor can't help you try an ENT. He probably has no control and doesn't even realize he is doing it. Do you think he might be getting his 2 year molars? My son turned 2 in Feb. and is getting his right now. When he is eating does it seem to stop or does he still drool. If he stops then maybe you could try giving him a sugar free hard candy to learn to suck on so he grasp the concept of swallowing. Then maybe he can start swallowing his salvia.

Hi R., your letter reminded me of a child with whom I worked years ago, who also had a drooling problem. His was due to a lot of handicapping situations, including the shape of his mouth, but it was messy, nonetheless! He wore a 'cowboy' kerchief around his neck most of the time, and could be encouraged to wipe his mouth with that. It also kept his shirts a little drier. He did go to a speech therapist for assistance, too. They know exercises that can help a child continue to develop oral control. Perhaps a pediactric dentist might have some suggestions as well.
As I recall, my son went through a "wet shirt" phase as well...Can he eat smooth peanut butter on soft white bread? That will give him a workout! LOL C. A

Im having the same problem with my two yearold daughter. At first her ped said it was teething but now that no new teeth have came in and shes talking so much more ive grown more concerned.

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