Excess saliva and singing

A question was asked that a singing student has excessive saliva that interrupts her singing. How can this be solved?

Are you using a lot of flourides?    Anticavity mouthwash, flouride gelcams?   These can cause excessive saliva.

Excess saliva is frequently a symptom of acid reflux– saliva is basic and it’s the body’s mechanism to neutralize the upward acidic reflux– to coat the esophagus from acid damage.

To test whether it is acid reflux, try taking a off-the-counter proton inhibitor, such as Prilosec, for two weeks, and see what happens. During this time, also test for other acid reflux symptoms (search web–many of these). If such symptoms and excessive saliva stop, chances are excellent the problem is acid reflux.

If it is acid reflux, proton inhibitors are a relatively safe drug– patients have taken it daily for over 10 years. Also, it is documented that for patients with acid reflux, proton inhibitors can help them sing significantly better (because of reduced effects of acid reflux).   I am not a physician, obviously, so you should see a physician to confirm any self-tests.

Another question was raised are there other remedies than proton inhibitors. Yes there are; I will describe these one day much later.

There is still another solution to excessive saliva. The excessive saliva problem, as it relates to singing, is generally not one of production, but one of drainage. As long as the saliva drains out quickly, the mouth can move freely, without having to swallow to rid of saliva. Recognizing the singing issue as a fast drainage challenge, the answer is simple (yet difficult to continously implement)– straighten the head so that the saliva naturally flows down the esophagus faster. One doesn’t have to swallow if one’s head is properly allowing drainage such that the saliva doesn’t accumulte.

This drainage solution has its challenges. How does one align one’s head straight such that it doesn’t cause strains on throat and mouth muscles, the strain of which will impact singing?

This is what VocalPosture.com attempts to answer–how to create a relaxed posture that enhances singing–and at the same time solve the excess saliva issue.

10-15-12  I’ve straightened my head posture significantly, and saliva drainage definitely is much better (faster).

Chen Sun




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6 Responses to “Excess saliva and singing”

  1. juwelers Says:

    great article. I’m also thinking of GERD and I know I have those symptoms.

  2. Demm Says:

    I tried it. It just won’t work with me. I feel like my saliva is automatic when I’m singing. -_-

  3. webandnet Says:

    Hi Demm,

    People are individuals, so saliva production can have numerous causes. Getting a good posture such that saliva flows down is challenging– but once attained, flowing saliva down via posture changes does work (at least for me).

  4. Sapphire Love Says:

    Thanks! I can’t believe it. I’ve been trying to sing for awhile now, but I have been constantly stopping in the middle of lyrics to swallow my saliva and it was making me mad. I started lifting my head up more and I have definitely noticed a difference, except that after a little while of doing, I have to burp. :/ Oh, well, at least I can sing through those lyrics!

  5. webandnet Says:

    Hi Sapphire Love,

    Thanks for your reply. I have acid reflux and too much resulting saliva,and here’s what worked for me.

    In addition to lifting head erect, the chest needs to be protruded. This is, of course, more difficult than it appears, because of body tensions. By doing this, for some people, the tensions may further tighten and ruin tone. I’ll explain later how to solve this tone problem.

    For now, try between lyrics or pauses to very rapidly swallow, without adding a lot of air to the swallow. This is because by tilting head back, saliva is allowed to accumulate into a larger pool, and in one swallow, singer can rid much of saliva.

  6. Buntu Says:

    Surely it works
    Thank you so much
    I am amazed at first trial

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