Salivating Before Vomiting

It’s a common sight: someone is vomiting, and they start drooling. But why does this happen?

We’ve all been there, that moment when your stomach starts to churn and you know that vomit is on its way. We get a weird feeling in our mouth before vomiting. And as if nausea and a general feeling of ickiness weren’t enough, sometimes our bodies betray us by producing an embarrassing amount of saliva right before we hurl. But have you ever wondered why we salivate before vomiting?

Why do you salivate before vomiting

It turns out that there is a scientific reason for this, and it has to do with the way our bodies prepare to get rid of whatever is making us sick.

Why do you salivate before vomiting?

It is all about excessive mouth-watering and nausea. Before we get into why we salivate before vomiting, let’s first understand what vomiting is and then get to details of why you salivate before vomiting.

Nausea and Vomiting

Vomiting is the forceful evacuation of the contents of your stomach through your mouth. It is often preceded by nausea, which is that feeling like you’re going to vomit. Nausea is caused by a variety of things, including indigestion, pregnancy, and certain medications.

Vomiting is a natural and necessary process that helps us rid our bodies of toxins and unwanted substances. Nausea is the feeling we get that precedes vomiting and is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong and that we need to get rid of whatever is causing the problem.

Initially, we will have excessive saliva being produced from salivary glands. We start spitting instead of throwing up. Then later comes the stage of vomiting.

Why do we drool before vomiting?

One reason is the autonomic nervous system’s response to the act of vomiting. This system is responsible for involuntary functions like vomiting resulting in nausea. This can cause the salivary glands to produce more saliva when triggered.

Nausea is the feeling of wanting to vomit and is often accompanied by an increase in saliva production. When people feel nauseous, they may start to salivate more because their stomach is preparing to vomit. The production of saliva is a reflex response to the nauseous sensation in the brain. The increase in saliva production causes people to drool.

Another reason for increased saliva production before vomiting is the body’s natural way of protecting the teeth from the acids in vomit.

Saliva helps to neutralize acidity in your mouth by releasing a bicarbonate buffer, which elevates the pH level and restores balance.

All of that stomach acid is toxic and harmful to the rest of our bodies, particularly the esophagus, mouth, and teeth. The increased saliva helps to neutralize some of the stomach acids and can help to prevent damage to the esophagus, mouth, and teeth.

Drooling before vomiting can also be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is when the contents of the stomach are pushed back up into the esophagus. The stomach acid in the vomit can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing it to produce more saliva in an attempt to protect itself.

Finally, some people may simply have a stronger gag reflex than others, which can lead to more saliva production in anticipation of vomiting. Whatever the reason, increased saliva production before vomiting is a normal response and is nothing to be concerned about.


While vomiting can be unpleasant, it is also a part of the digestive process. In most cases, vomiting is the body’s way of getting rid of something that is causing it harm. It is a formation of defenses against food poisoning too.

We tend to drool more before vomiting has the underlying benefit of negating the effects of stomach acids. The sudden excessive salivation also helps to lubricate the digestive passage to throw up without damage.

1 Sources

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  1. Why is the neurobiology of nausea and vomiting so important? by PubMed