Pregnancy is a truly transformative time. You would experience new physical and emotional changes, almost every trimester. While some are tolerable, others – not so much.
One such change that falls in the latter category is the formation of excessive saliva in the mouth, particularly during first trimester.
Unfortunately, there are no prenatal habits or medications known to prevent excessive drooling during pregnancy. However, there are some natural remedies for ptyalism that can help reduce the formation of excess saliva.
Is Excess Saliva Normal During Pregnancy?
A salivary gland usually produces about 1,500 ml of saliva a day. But the reason you don’t notice this is because you continuously keep swallowing it.
During pregnancy, you may suddenly seem to notice a lot more saliva in your mouth. Maybe you are producing more or even swallowing less, or maybe both.
Some of you may also experience the discomfort of needing to spit more often due to the excessive saliva in your mouth.
If you are currently experiencing this symptom, the good news is that this condition won’t affect your baby’s health or well-being. But it is always good to know why this is happening to you.
4 Reasons Why You May Be Salivating More
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There are four major reasons for ptyalism gravidarum. These include hormonal changes, nausea, irritants in the environment, and acidity and heartburn. Let us take you through a breakdown of each.
Hormonal changes: One of the reasons you may notice excessive saliva during pregnancy is – fluctuating hormones. As your body prepares to accommodate another human, it creates a cohesive environment in your body, thus bringing about hormonal changes.
Nausea: Pregnant women suffer from morning sickness and some experience extreme nausea. This can be one of the causes behind women salivating more during this time. So, when you feel nauseated, try to swallow less, as it may be causing the saliva to build up in your mouth.
Irritants: Sometimes irritants like smoke may be the reason for increased saliva. Check if you are suffering from tooth decay and other oral infections that can also cause the issue. Some medicines and exposure to toxins like mercury and pesticides can be the reason too.
Acidity and heartburn: According to experts, it is the body’s way of protecting your mouth, teeth and throat from the corrosive effects of stomach acid. In fact, this may be happening even if you’re not feeling sick.
It’s not just pregnancy that may cause excessive saliva formation, there might be other reasons as well.
Some other causes of excessive saliva production include:
Sinus, throat, or peritonsillar infections
Ulcers, or any kind of inflammation in the mouth
Poor oral hygiene
Severe infections such as rabies or Tuberculosis
Poor teeth alignment
Sometimes, excessive saliva can cause problems with talking and eating. You can also feel uncomfortable due to chapped lips and skin infections.
This condition can give you social anxiety and you may suffer from low self-esteem.
It is therefore, important to share with your medical practitioner that you are salivating more. They will be able to identify any underlying issue and subscribe treatments accordingly.
On the other hand, ask your doctor, if it is okay to try the following natural remedies for ptyalism:
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Brush your teeth twice, and use mouthwash to keep your mouth clean
Try chewing on ice
Avoid starchy food and focus on well-balanced meals instead
Have plenty of water to stay hydrated. Keep a small water bottle always with you and take frequent sips.
You can try having hard candy or chewing on sugarless gum. This will not produce less saliva, but will make it easier for you to swallow your saliva.
If swallowing the saliva is making you feel nauseating, then spit out the excess immediately. Don’t forget to carry a wipe towel or a tissue with you at all times. You can clean any saliva that escapes from your mouth.
Can You Prevent Excess Saliva During Pregnancy?
While this condition can be annoying and it may add to your pregnancy discomforts, it is not a permanent concern.
Excessive saliva during pregnancy or ptyalism gravidarum can reduce or even disappear as nausea subsides at the end of the first trimester. However, it can also last throughout the pregnancy for a few mums. But it will surely disappear after your baby is born.
So try to relax and not overthink it. If the discomfort doesn’t go away with natural remedies for ptyalism, head to your doctor. It is also important to not panic and stay calm throughout the journey.