What are these white splotches on my pillow? (TMI?)

For the last couple of months I’ve noticed some white splotches on my pillow in the morning. It’s obviously from drooling while I sleep, but what is it? At first I theorized it was left over residue from toothpaste. But I did an experiment and for a week I did not use toothpaste before I went to bed (rinsed and flossed, but no toothpaste. I did brush in the morning and afternoon, however).

Splotches continued. I would think that if I drool while I sleep these calcium like splotches would have always been on my pillows my entire life. But this just started about 3 months ago. So WTF?:confused:

Just did a quick Google of your problem. It seems that it’s simply saliva from drooling and it dries white. It’s amazing how many people have this problem. Gotta love Google.

Can’t explain why you never noticed it before. Are you using different colored pillowcases?

Your saliva has dissolved protein, dead cells, and other substances - salts, etc. That’s what you’re seeing when the water has evaporated.

Yeah, but why, as Honey pointed out, have I [we] never noticed it before? My wife almost always uses colored coverings (pink, yellow, maroon, purple, etc) on our bedding. Only rarely does she use white pillow cases where we wouldn’t notice these splotches. They are recent.

Doing a little searching, it looks like there are various reasons that the protein content of your saliva can change. There was a big study that showed significant changes in women’s saliva as they age; also pregnancy, certain medications and dietary changes can have an effect. Maybe none of these applies to you, but it seems logical that something has caused a change in the composition of your saliva.

Can that something be a sign of something serious?

I’m not seeing anything specific that looks serious (presumably you would know if you had chronic kidney disease or were undergoing chemotherapy). But IANAD, just a curious Googler. If you’re concerned, you might want to mention it to your doctor.

Any changes in your sleeping habits? Position change (from back to side or stomach) might cause more pillow drool. Increased mouth-breathing due to congestion/sinuses/weather, or perhaps medical reason (deviated septum, nasal polyps)? Any dental issues/changes recently? Check your epiglottis in a mirror for inflammation. Does your wife notice any increased snoring or sleep apnea? (These are rhetorical, just throwing out ideas.)

They are much less visible on lighter pillow cases. Texture or even thread count can show different results too. If you’re like me, you tend to change pillow position/side frequently too, which could have masked previous accumulations.

Any chance you’re sleeping more deeply (increased exercise, sleeping pills, nighttime meds, etc.) and not changing positions as much (which would allow more drool in same spot)?