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Speech and swallowing and PD

Speech and swallowing and PD

what some experts say

Speech and swallowing and PD

Many people with PD complain that they have a thick phlegm or mucus in the throat. Drinking more water will help thin this phlegm. Drinking carbonated beverages or tea with lemon may also help. Eating or drinking dairy products can make phlegm worse.

Two PD specific programs for speech th



Read more in this comprehensive 50 page downloadable book from

Speech and Swallowing - Parkinson's Foundation


Swallowing. Whether you have too much saliva in your mouth or not enough, try sucking on lemon candy, small suckers, or chewing gum. Yes, this will create more saliva, but it will also help you to swallow more frequently. The more you practice swallowing, the more those muscles receive exercise. If you struggle with thick mucus

in your throat, these strategies will help you to get it either swallowed down or cleared up and out

Ambroxol, a drug used in cough syrup to break up phlegm, may be worthy of further study as a neuroprotective compound in Parkinson's disease, AiM-PD trial results suggested.

It is important to note any changes to swallowing, because there is opportunity to intervene early and preserve both health and quality of life.  Swallowing disorders are managed by the medical team with a speech-language pathologist and physician. Evaluation typically involves an interview, a physical examination of the head and neck, trials with food/liquid and if indicated, an instrumented examination, either with a moving x-ray, called videofluoroscopy (also known as a modified barium swallow study) or by visualizing the throat with a scope (called endoscopy).

Excess saliva

I found excess saliva could be combated with mints, which encourage swallowing.  Then I was concerned about dental problems caused by too much sugar. I don’t like artificial sweeteners, but then discovered xylitol. (


Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in plants, including many fruits and vegetables. It has a sweet taste and is often used as a sugar substitute.

Xylitol tastes sweet but, unlike sugar, it doesn't cause tooth decay. It reduces levels of decay-causing bacteria in saliva and also acts against some bacteria that cause ear infections. It's widely used in "sugar-free" chewing gums, mints, and other candies.

In the US, products that contain xylitol are allowed to state that they reduce the risk for cavities. People also use xylitol to prevent tooth plaque, ear infection, dry mouth, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these uses.

I tried many xylitol products and liked this one best. (although not as tasty as sugary mints)

Spry Xylitol Mints, Peppermint, 240 Count - Breath Mints That Promote Oral Health, Increase Saliva Production, and Stop Bad Breath

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