Drooling is the most common concern as a parent of a toddler or as a caregiver of an adult who has neurological condition. It is defined as, “saliva flowing outside of your mouth unintentionally” which is often a result of weak or underdeveloped muscles around the mouth. Drooling is not treated as a pathological condition during infancy as it is the normal development process. This can sometimes be socially embarrassing for the parent/client/caregiver of an individual.
It becomes pathological with conditions such as developmental delay, cerebral palsy or an acquired speech and language difficulties in case of adults/geriatric (elderly) population. When an individual’s mouth is constantly open with poor lip seal and reduced sensitivity they start drooling. This is caused by the damage to the central nervous system which causes reduced sensitivity in the circular muscles of the lip.
The sensory perception of these muscles can be improved by carrying out various stimulation massages using speech correction/logopedic probes and the use of kinesiology taping.
Speech probe face massage helps in stimulating the muscles of cheeks and lips thereby increasing the sensory perception. Kinesiology tape when placed on the circular muscles of the mouth gives a heightened sensory perception post the massage. The taping should be placed in its correct position and kept on for approximately 4 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours as we progress on the days of therapy. This taping enables the individual to get awareness and sensory perception of the area surrounding the lip which results in better seal that can control drooling.