Aug 23, 2016 - 05:08 PM EST | Posted under: Pediatric Dentistry
It’s common for babies to drool during many phases of oral development. But when is the drooling normal and when is it cause for concern? Use this helpful guide to know if your baby’s drooling is harmless or the sign of a health hazard.
The Significance of Saliva
Surprisingly, drooling offers many benefits to babies and actually performs many fundamental functions. In addition to protecting a baby’s dental health and comfort, saliva contains a digestive enzyme that converts starch into sugar to neutralize stomach acid and allow for proper digestion. According to pediatric dentist experts, drooling can help a baby in the following ways:
- Moistening and softening solid food to make it simpler to digest.
- Easing swallowing for a baby.
- Washing away particles of food and bacteria.
- Protecting the baby’s teeth from tooth decay.
- Keeping a baby’s mouth comfortably moist.
Drooling Can Signal Teething or Trouble
Your pediatric dentist will probably warn you that drooling will get noticeably frequent between three to six months of age when a baby is about to start teething. The increased flow of saliva tends to be a sign that a new tooth is about to appear. As a result, a baby’s gums can be rather tender and drooling can help soothe them. Yet drooling can also signal a more serious medical issue. If your baby has suddenly started drooling excessively or looks very ill, this could be a sign of trouble that demands immediate medical attention. If excessive drooling is a concern, ask your pediatric dentist about your baby’s behavior.