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Don't Let the Fear of Drooling Keep You from Getting Affordable Dental Care

By Susan Braden

woman embarrassed of drooling needs affordable dental treatment

Many people fear going to the dentist office, but some avoid the dentist simply because they're embarrassed about drooling. Oral hygiene is incredibly important, however, so don’t let a little saliva keep you from receiving the affordable dental care you need. Here are some of the common myths associated with drooling.

Why People Drool

People typically drool more during treatment because their mouths keep opening and closing, which stimulates the salivary glands. The mouth uses saliva to begin breaking down fat and starch as part of the initial process of digestion. Saliva also protects the teeth from bacteria by breaking down food stuck in the teeth and washing it away. In addition, it keeps the teeth, tongue and tissues in the mouth moist to protect them. If you drool at the dentist, your mouth is just reacting to the unusual movement.

How Dentists Deal With It

Don’t worry about slobbering on all the metal tools and cotton. Dentists acknowledge that some people tend to drool more than others, but it’s not even an issue for them. They expect it. If you go into the business of working inside people’s mouths, you have to know that you will be dealing with some drool. However, dentists cannot do their job properly if you’re drooling, because they might not have a clear view if an affected area is covered by a saliva pool. Additionally, several procedures require a dry mouth, particularly those involving some sort of adhesive. Dentists know this, and they have several simple, affordable methods of maintaining a dry environment.


  • High Speed Suction Tube – This small device sucks the saliva out of the mouth upon contact, and can be applied to a specific area for a moment, or simply left in the mouth in more severe cases.

  • Cotton Balls – These can be placed in the mouth, often in the cheek area, to soak up excess drool or to stop it from moving to a different part of the mouth.

  • Rubber Dams – These thin sheets of latex act as a buffer to keep saliva from spilling over into the area receiving treatment. The affected tooth pokes out through a hole in the sheet, while everything else is guarded by the rubber dam.

  • Short-Term Medication – This can be used in severe cases to dry up your mouth long enough for the procedure, but there are other affordable options for this as well.

What You Should Do

People may think they look foolish when they drool, but dentists say that patients should consider instead what they would look like with rotting or missing teeth. Avoiding the dentist is not an affordable dental option. Don’t let the fear of slobbering prevent you from keeping your teeth healthy.

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Nearly 35 percent of Americans completely avoided the dentist last year, according to the most recent Gallup-Healthways poll.

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