Home Teeth and mouthSalivary gland diseases Causes of foamy white saliva and what to do

Causes of foamy white saliva and what to do

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Saliva is a liquid of great importance not only in food, but also in maintaining oral health and proper digestion. That is why when the saliva is thicker, a series of very diverse problems can appear, such as dry mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing, bad breath, weight loss, dental problems and even gastroesophageal reflux.

The causes that can generate these changes in saliva are also very diverse. Among the most common are anxiety, dehydration, diabetes, and mouth breathing.

If you want to know more details you can find them in the following FastlyHealarticle, in which we answer the question why do I have white and frothy saliva .


Saliva is made up of water and electrolytes. It is logical that if the body has lost too much water (for example, due to diarrhea), the saliva becomes whiter and pasty. This is more common in older people and in hot or dry times.

What to do?

The first measure is to take care of rehydrating the body , but this cannot be achieved only with water, since salts are important and the oiliness of the body as well.

Correction of body dryness can be achieved with some of the following measures:

  • Drink plain water, not refined sugar, preservatives, or colorings.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Your diet should include healthy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat products.
  • Prefers juicy fruits such as orange, tangerine, pear, papaya, pineapple, strawberries. If you have severe diarrhea, choose the apple better and avoid the others for a couple of days.
  • If you have diarrhea, drink rice water .
  • Incorporate healthy fats: ghee or clarified butter is ideal. You can also add olive or coconut oil.
  • Hydrate your body with natural substances. The most beneficial is sesame oil.


The mind plays a very important role in maintaining health or in its imbalance. Anxiety and stress mobilize adrenaline in the body. The body prepares for a fight, which originally would have lasted a few seconds or minutes, but maintaining that state for a long time generates serious imbalances.

Among the problems caused by this increase in adrenaline are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Palpitations
  • Insomnia.

What to do?

If you think this is your problem, you should try to lower your stress and anxiety levels, obviously this way of looking at life is hurting you.

A simple technique is to focus on what you do : focus all your attention on your breath, on how you walk, on what you hear, on the sensations in your body. This takes practice. It may cost you a lot at first, but when your mind wanders back to the “problems,” refocus. Every time it will be easier.

Your body must accompany these changes, for this, easily digestible foods will provide you with well-being and will make your balance return little by little.


Acute infections that occur in the salivary glands can cause the production of saliva to decrease, making it thicker, whitish and even with purulent characteristics, such as a bad smell or taste and greenish color.

These infections can also cause the salivary gland to generate stones. In this case, there is an obstruction of the saliva outlet, which can cause you to feel pain, have inflammation and have little saliva.

The HIV is a chronic viral infection that can also cause changes in salivation. On the one hand, since the defenses are low, bacterial and fungal infections are more frequent. On the other hand, there are studies that describe the presence of xerostomia in patients with HIV even without infections. There are those who consider that it is due to the drugs they take and others who affirm that it is due to the fact that the disease itself generates changes in the structure of the salivary glands.

What to do?

Focusing treatment on curing the infection is the key. In addition to medical treatments with antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals, it is extremely important to correct the habits that caused the infection.

Review your diet and eliminate what is unhealthy, get adequate rest, drink enough water and avoid toxins such as alcohol or tobacco.

Substance use

Some medications and other substances can cause thick saliva.


Among those that can cause xerostomia are:

  • Diuretics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines.
  • Amphetamines.
  • Broncodilatadores.

If you think that one of the medications you use may be causing these discomforts, it is important that you speak with your GP to evaluate the possibility of changing or suspending them, but try not to do it on your own because sometimes it is necessary to reduce the dose little by little. little bit.

Alcohol, tobacco, drugs

Both socially accepted drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol, as well as those that are not legal, cause damage to the body, even more so when they are consumed regularly and if one suffers from addiction to them.

  • The Alcohol dehydrates the body. This causes many disorders, including foamy and whitish saliva . In addition, consumed chronically causes the salivary glands to increase in size and harden, which alters their function. On the other hand, it generates inflammation in the oral mucosa.
  • The snuff also acts locally in the mouth and throat parching the mucosa, inflaming and making it more prone to diseases like cancer. In the body, nicotine causes different reactions, including a decrease in saliva production, which worsens the local effects.
  • Different drugs , such as cocaine, cause dry mouth , this is because they decrease normal blood supply and saliva production.

It is important that you identify if this is your problem and ask for help. These substances are very difficult to give up and require a lot of commitment and will, which is simpler if someone is accompanying you on that path.

Breathe through the mouth

If you do not breathe properly through the nose, if there are secretions or a chronic obstruction, the air inevitably enters through the mouth. This causes it to feel dry and the saliva to feel pasty .

What to do?

It is not enough to just drink water, although it can help as you search for the solution to the cause. Finding the reason why you have this obstruction and correcting it is key to being able to breathe properly.

For inflammation of any kind, it is very important to avoid the foods that generate it: processed, excess dairy, flour and refined sugar.

If there is a septum deviation , surgical correction may be required. If there is an allergy, you should avoid the substances that generate it.

Cleaning with seawater, pure water with sea salt, or hypertonic physiological solution can help keep your nose clear.


This disease brings different consequences that end up affecting salivation:

  • There is an altered distribution of fluid in the body with less supply of irrigation to the salivary glands.
  • The poor digestion manifests with whitish clusters on the tongue, is the accumulation of toxins overall.
  • The salivary glands enlarge and do not produce saliva properly. It is believed that it may be due to an alteration at the nervous level in them.

What to do?

Here too it is essential to go to the root cause of the problems. Medication prescribed to treat diabetes works to lower blood sugar levels and limit complications, but they do not resolve the disease.

On the other hand, the modification of habits can do it. Eating healthier, leaving out processed, refined flours, excess meat and dairy, exercising daily, resting properly are some of the changes that can help you get back to health.


The increased hormonal circulation can cause a decrease in saliva production . Near menopause, women can have certain imbalances that are favored by an unhealthy diet, the consumption of coffee, alcohol and tobacco, excessive or lack of exercise, sleep disorders, among others.

What to do?

In addition to consuming an adequate amount of liquid, make sure your meals are unctuous and juicy. Add olive oil after cooking, add ghee or clarified butter to your diet, avoid processed foods.

Eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds. Hydrate the nuts for several hours before eating them. It incorporates natural infusions, muscovado sugar and honey.

Try to get adequate rest, between 6 and 8 hours at night, relax your mind and exercise every day in a gentle way.

Sjogren’s syndrome

It is an autoimmune disease in which the salivary glands and other secretion-producing glands are directly affected. For this reason, saliva production decreases, making the mouth dry and pasty .

What to do?

Take into account the measures that we have previously commented to you. It favors everything that restores balance to your health. Remember that you are not only the body, your mind and your emotions play a fundamental role in your recovery.

You can see more details about its treatment in the article Sjögren’s syndrome: what it is, symptoms and treatment .


The radiation that is emitted to treat tumor problems in the head and neck results in dry tissues and a decrease in the production of saliva . This is so because the salivary glands alter their function.

In addition to the white and foamy saliva, you may experience difficulty swallowing and chewing, pharyngeal and mouth burning, among others.

What to do?

Add foods rich in water to make chewing less difficult.

You can promote saliva production with slightly acidic foods, such as oranges and strawberries. Add ghee or olive oil to the end of your preparations. You can swish sesame oil and also use it to oil your head and body. This will restore the hydration you need.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I have white and foamy saliva , we recommend that you enter our Teeth and mouth category .

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