Does your mouth feel drier than usual? Are you always thirsty because of that?
Excessive dryness of mouth and thirst are common in pregnancy. A dry or parched feeling in the mouth can cause discomfort and also increase your overall fluid intake. But why does that happen? Is there a way to prevent it? Keep reading this MomJunction post to know what causes dry mouth during pregnancy, its symptoms, and ways to deal with it.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth or Xerostomia is a condition that arises due to the reduced flow of saliva from the salivary glands. Saliva is necessary for lubricating the oral tissues and protecting the mucosa. A drop in its production can make chewing, swallowing and tasting difficult, and also lead to tooth decay and various oral infections (1).
There could be various reasons that lead to a dry mouth during pregnancy. Keep reading to know what they are.
What Causes Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
Here is the list of reasons that may cause dry mouth during pregnancy:
- Dehydration: Insufficient fluid intake will not produce enough saliva, making your mouth dry (2).
- Hormonal fluctuation: The changes in the hormonal levels can reduce the flow of saliva (3).
- Increased blood volume: An increase in the blood volume causes frequent urination that leads to fluid loss from the body (4). Insufficient water content in the body can reduce saliva production.
- Vomiting: It creates an acidic environment inside the mouth and causes fluid loss from the body. If the saliva is not enough to flush out the acidic fluids, then the mouth gets dry.
- Lifestyle: Consuming alcohol and beverages containing caffeine, using tobacco products, intake of salty or spicy foods, and mouth breathing can also lead to dry mouth (5).
- Medications: Medicines used for the treatment of high blood pressure during pregnancy can also lead to dry mouth (6).
Besides a dry mouth, you may also experience certain other symptoms in the case of Xerostomia,
[ Read: Dehydration During Pregnancy ]
What Are The Symptoms Of A Dry Mouth In Pregnancy?
Here are the symptoms associated with dry mouth:
- Dry and pale white tongue
- Mouth sores (5)
- Sore throat
- A sticky feeling inside the mouth
- Bad breath
- Chapped lips
- Parched throat
- Excessive thirst
- Change in the sense of taste (7)
- Burning sensation (8)
So, can a dry mouth be a concern during pregnancy? Keep reading to know.
What Are The Other Indications Of A Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth during pregnancy should never be overlooked as it could indicate specific health problems such as:
- Anemia: Severe dryness of mouth with a burning sensation could be an indication of anemia (9).
- Gestational diabetes: Abnormally high glucose level during pregnancy can lead to dry mouth (10).
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult the doctor. He or she might recommend a test to diagnose the issue.
Regardless of what causes a dry mouth, it is important to find ways to relieve the discomfort. Keep reading to find out how.
Tips To Relieve Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
Here are a few tips to try at home to ease the discomfort of dry mouth:
- Take more fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Sucking ice chips also help in moistening your tongue.
- Try to keep the mouth closed during sleep, as mouth breathing tends to make it dry, especially during the night. If you have a cold or congestion, steam inhalation helps in clearing the airway passages that help you breathe through the nose and not the mouth.
- A humidifier helps in moistening the room that could help in reducing the dryness of mouth.
- Sugar-free chewing gum helps in stimulating the salivary glands to secrete saliva.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol as it leads to dry mouth.
- Maintain oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
- Cut down on coffee, tea, and aerated drinks as they can make you thirsty.
- Reduce the intake of salty and sugary food.
[ Read: Vomiting During Pregnancy ]
Nurturing a baby inside you is a joyous feeling, but it is not that easy as it seems. Pregnancy affects your body, albeit temporarily. As soon as you hold the baby in your arms, your pains will wane. Until then, enjoy this surreal journey of motherhood.
Have you ever experienced dry mouth during pregnancy? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comment section below.
2. Dry mouth; NHS (2019)
3. Dry mouth syndrome; State of Victoria (2018)
4. Common Physical Changes During Pregnancy; National Women’s Health Resource Center, Inc (2019)
5. Anita M. Mark; Limiting the effects of dry mouth; American Dental Association (2017)
6. Xerostomia and Hyposalivation (“dry mouth”); Division of Oral Medicine and Dentistry, Brighamand Dentistry, Brighamand Women’s Hospital
7. Dry Mouth: A Primary Symptom of Sjögren’s; Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation, Inc (2019)
8. Dry Mouth; American Dental Association
9. Johansson I; Effect of iron-deficiency anemia on saliva secretion rate and composition in the rat; NCBI (1994)
10. Gestational diabetes; NHS (2016)
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