Associated Conditions of Cerebral Palsy: Drooling and Swallowing Problems
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy Drooling
Drooling is the unintentional loss of saliva from the mouth. It is caused by a lack of coordination of the muscles of the mouth, face and neck. Drooling is an extremely common problem for younger children with Cerebral Palsy but it usually improves as the child grows. It is estimated that of all individuals with CP, 35% or more drool significantly.

In Cerebral Palsy there are a number of conditions that can contribute to drooling. They are: deficiencies in swallowing (rather than to absence of swallowing); difficulty moving saliva to the back of the throat; poor mouth closure, sometimes due to incorrect positioning of the teeth; jaw instability and tongue thrusting.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy


Drooling can be made worse by, for example, a lack of head control and poor posture, lack of sensation around the mouth, mouth breathing, excitement and impaired concentration. Some medications which the child may take for other conditions such as seizures my aggravate drooling.

While drooling can lead to the child being socially ostracized, there are also health and hygiene implications for people who drool. The skin around the mouth, chin and neck can become red and sore; dehydration may happen because of fluid loss; there may be problems with eating; infections may be more easily transmitted; and aspiration of the saliva is more likely, and can lead to infection and/or pneumonia.

In young children creative use of bibs can keep their clothing from becoming soaked. Children can also be taught to wipe their mouths frequently (assuming they are physically able). Bibs should not be used when the neck is chafed.

A speech therapist can be helpful by using exercises which teach the child how to better work their mouths and tongues to that the saliva is pushed back towards the throat where it can be swallowed.

There are medications that can help control drooling. As with many medications, they are not without side effects.

There are also surgical techniques that involve rerouting of salivary ducts and removal of salivary glands.

If lack of head control is contributing to the problem of drooling, correcting the sitting position so that the head is not hanging forward can facilitate a decrease in their drooling.

No one technique for controlling drooling is currently found to be better than the others. The use of behavior modification perhaps in conjunction with medication is generally recommended before using a surgical solution that does not always solve the problem.

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Associated Conditions of Cerebral Palsy: Hearing, Depression, Breathing Problems,
Drooling, ADHD, ADD, Bowel issues, Swallowing, Epilepsy, Speech Problems.