Devyani Lal, Andrew J. Hotaling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Drooling is the involuntary spillage of saliva from the mouth. It is a major morbidity associated with cerebral palsy and other neurodegenerative disorders. The consequences of drooling are not restricted to medical issues but can cause major social handicaps. Severe psycho-social consequences, such as social stigmatization and emotional devastation for the patients and their families, may result. This paper reviews recent developments in the management of drooling. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent publications report encouraging results with botulinum toxin A. Several surgeons report on their long-term results. Reviews analyze anticholinergic drugs, surgical options, biofeedback, behavioral and speech therapy, and a multidisciplinary team approach. SUMMARY: A team approach is the key to successful rehabilitation. Oromotor therapy is the most useful nonsurgical option. Drugs are unsuitable for long-term use due to adverse effects causing serious medical complications or noncompliance. Botulinum toxin A injection is promising, but no data exists on optimal dosage, duration of action and frequency of repeat injections. Bilateral submandibular duct relocation with bilateral sublingual gland excision has been shown to be effective and safe in long-term follow-up of the largest series of patients. At present, it is the best available surgical option.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Drooling
  • Excessive salivation
  • Sialorrhea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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