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Saliva milky brownish, acid reflux, on nexium, hypochondriac. Serious?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I noticed about a week ago that my saliva was milky brownish (mostly light brown but sometimes darker) color in the morning when I woke up. It's been that way every morning for a week now. I'm not coughing or coughing anything up and this doesn't happen any other time of the day except when I first wake up. I don't have any other significant symptoms (except I have had acid reflux for a few years and am on a perscription for Nexium). My throat does seem to be really dry in the morning but that's kind of normal for me. I'm a hypocondriac so this probably sounds rediculous to whoever might be reading it. I just don't know if this is normal or not and can't really seem to find a solid answer.
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 25 minutes later
Hello and thank you for your query.

Let me provide you with some good information and reassurance regarding what is going on. Let me also say that I do not at all feel you are a hypochondriac.

As for saliva - the production of saliva is dependent on our hydration status. If we are not drinking enough fluids then the saliva production can go down and the saliva can be thicker in consistency along with having a dry mouth. When we have a dry mouth and throat this increases the likelihood that we could have tiny abrasions of the soft mucosa in the mouth. With one of these tiny abrasions some bleeding could occur which can cause the saliva to be darker in color.

Another possibility in your case is that you could be having a mild degree of reflux which is generating secretions in your esophagus as well - creating this atypical colored saliva. I recommend you continue the nexium and also consider elevating the head of your bed by placing 6 to 8 inch blocks under the supports of the head of the bed. This will elevate you slightly and possibly will decrease some of the reflux which could be going on at night. A trial of this for a week or two may give us some answers regarding your saliva.

Again thank you for your query. If you have any followups I am available to address them.

Dr Galamaga
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