Have you ever heard of the term “Ptyalism”? Before you get scared or concerned, “Ptyalism” is the term given to excessive saliva production in human beings. This condition occurs more frequently during pregnancy, especially if you are suffering from morning sickness. This condition is seen just in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
Is Excess Salivating During Pregnancy Dangerous?
While you are pregnant, your body undergoes many drastic changes, and this is one amongst those changes. Combined with nausea or morning sickness, this problem can be a little unpleasant, but the good news is it will go away within the first few weeks.
To put it simply, excessive salivation during pregnancy will not affect your baby. In fact, this condition is experienced by many women during the pregnancy period. It is completely safe for both you and your baby as long as there isn’t any serious underlying condition that’s causing it.
Causes Of Excessive Salivation During Pregnancy:
Excess saliva can be caused either due to the increase in production of saliva or due to decrease in your ability to swallow saliva.
Although the actual cause for this excess saliva production in the mouth is not identified, there are many reasons for this:
- The hormonal changes that take place in your body during pregnancy can be one of the reasons for excess saliva.
- Vomiting or extreme morning sickness can be linked with the production of more saliva in early pregnancy.
- A condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum causes excessive vomiting and dehydration during pregnancy. This may also lead to a higher production of saliva in the mouth.
- Heartburn or acidity, which is a common symptom associated with pregnancy, may also be linked to increased production of saliva.
- Smoking tends to increase the production of saliva in general.
- Certain mouth and tooth infections may also lead to an increase in the production of saliva in the mouth.
- Exposure to mercury or other toxic chemicals present in pesticides can also cause an increased production of saliva in the mouth.
[ Read: How to Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy ]
It is important to note that the production of saliva is important and is a process that is needed by the body. Your body produces around 1 and half quarts of saliva every day. This helps the body neutralize the stomach acids, protects the teeth against harmful bacteria, helps improve digestion by breaking down the food and keeps your mouth lubricated.
Treatment For Excess Saliva During Pregnancy:
If you are facing this problem you should inform your doctor immediately, even though excess salivation does not cause any complications you or your growing baby. Though there isn’t much that you can do about excess saliva, taking a few precautionary measures may help you control it to some extent:
- If you tend to smoke during pregnancy you may want to consider cutting down on the number of cigarettes. It is recommended you completely give up on the same when you are pregnant. Smoking doesn’t just increase saliva production during pregnancy; it also puts you and your baby at many health risks.
- If you suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum you may need to visit your healthcare provider and take certain medications to control vomiting.
- Sometimes excessive saliva production may occur due to gum and mouth problems. You may need to take antibiotics (if it is an infection) and visit a dentist to get your problem sorted.
- Avoid consuming foods that are too starchy or contain a lot of carbohydrates.
- Eat small meals in smaller intervals.
- Using a natural mouth wash 4 to 5 times a day and brushing the teeth can also be helpful. This may relieve you from the symptoms of salivation or at least will keep these symptoms less annoying for you.
- Taking plenty of water can help you to stay hydrated and swallow the excess saliva that is being produced.
- Keep chewing on sugarless chewing gums, candies or mints to divert your mind and attention. Doing this will not stop the production of saliva but will make it easier for you to swallow the saliva that is produced.
- You can also try sucking on an ice cube. That way your mouth will feel numb and secrete less saliva. You can also try other home remedies such as sucking on a lime or a piece of ginger (after confirmation from your general practitioner).
[ Read: Smoking During Pregnancy ]
Benefits Of Excess Saliva:
While this is not a serious problem it can be irritating when combined with nausea. It gets hard to deal with this excess salivation problem as you will already have so many changes taking place in your body during pregnancy.
You will be surprised to know that there are a few benefits of excess saliva as well:
- The excess saliva acts as a lubricant.
- It helps in balancing the acidity.
- The saliva produced in the mouth contains few enzymes that help in breaking the food in to smaller sugars. This helps your digestion.
- It acts as an anti-bacterial agent and protects the teeth from decay and the mouth lining.
[ Read: Vomiting During Pregnancy ]
If it is possible, you can try to swallow the excess saliva that is created in your mouth. If you feel nauseated while doing so, you can spit it out. Remember to drink plenty of water if you are doing so.
By the end of your first trimester these symptoms will most likely subside. However, just like nausea, some women experience these symptoms throughout their pregnancy.
[Read: Hot Flushes During Pregnancy ]
We hope this article helped you get a general idea about why you may be salivating excessively during pregnancy. Also, we hope the simple tips and tricks to tackle it will be of help. Which of these tricks worked for you? Do let us know in the comments box below
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