Excessive Saliva during Pregnancy

EXCESSIVE SALIVA DURING PREGNANCY

Once pregnancy sets in, many women notice the various changes their body undergoes. One of those quickly noticeable is that they might be producing more saliva than usual. Medically termed as ‘ptyalism gravidarum’, it usually occurs by itself, further propounded due to morning sickness, or by fluctuating hormonal levels.

Is It Normal if You Experience Excessive Salivation in Pregnancy?

Absolutely. It is perfectly normal to salivate a lot more than usual if you’re pregnant. In usual conditions, the glands that produce saliva tends to generate approximately around 600ml of saliva in an entire day. That seems like quite a large amount, but it goes unnoticed since we constantly keep swallowing it throughout. During pregnancy, the amount of saliva might increase or the tendency to swallow might have decreased, which leads to the belief that salivation has increased.

A few women notably salivate intensely when they are nauseous. The saliva in such cases can make one feel like spitting it out.

When Does it Start?

Some might believe increased saliva as an early pregnancy symptom to be a strong sign. However, excess production of saliva does tend to begin around the 2nd to 3rd week of the pregnancy and settles down around the end of the first trimester. For certain women, this salivation continues throughout the pregnancy up until the delivery.

Causes of Salivation in Pregnancy

Many women might notice excess saliva in pregnancy third trimester and may wonder the cause behind it. Some of them are as follows:

  • A pregnant woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes in the hormones as well, which could lead to excess salivation.
  • The usual tendencies of morning sickness and nausea cause pregnant women to not swallow as much since the taste might make them unpleasant and even more nauseous. This causes the saliva to keep building up in the mouth.
  • The uterus keeps expanding to accommodate the baby and ends up pushing the stomach. This, in turn, causes the stomach to push up its contents in the oesophagus, leading to a bad irritating and burning sensation. As a bodily reflex, the oesophagus causes the glands to produce more saliva in order to soothe the stomach acid and burning sensation.
  • If the pregnant mother suffers from any oral infections such as tooth decay, cavities, dental caries or so, there is a chance of salivation increasing in such scenarios and being excessive.
  • Being exposed to some toxic chemicals might cause the body to react in a manner of producing more saliva than usual.
  • Specific medications namely anticonvulsants, lithium, tranquillizers, and so on, are known to react with the salivary glands causing them to produce excessive saliva.

Benefits of Increased Salivation

  • Increased salivation works directly in neutralizing any stomach acids that can cause a burning or irritating sensation.
  • Saliva in the mouth is a natural defence against bacteria that can harm the teeth.
  • The major function of saliva is that it starts the digestion process right in the mouth, helping the stomach and intestine break down the food easily.
  • With vitamin supplements or so, one may experience a dry mouth. Salivation helps keep the mouth lubricated and wet.

Treatments for Excessive Saliva When Pregnant

  • Many pregnant women try to find treatment for excessive salivation during pregnancy. There are certain remedies one can undertake to control hypersalivation.
  • Restructure your diet to remove food items that have a high content of carbohydrates or are starch-based.
  • Visit your dentist and check for any infections that might be present in your mouth. Certain gum related problems could result in excessive production of saliva.

VISIT YOUR DENTIST

  • Re-plan your meal times by eating smaller meals in short repeated intervals.
  • Using a mouthwash intermittently through the day can help with the saliva.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth wet. It also keeps the saliva in check.
  • Chew sugarless gums or mints to help with the swallowing of saliva.
  • Take an ice cube and suck on it for some time. Your mouth will feel numb and will produce less saliva for some time.
  • Try chewing on lime or ginger to reduce the salivation. Consult your doctor for the same.
  • Opt for a lot of crunchy and fibrous fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • If swallowing the saliva starts making you feel nauseous, spit it out in a separate cloth or a cup and discard it regularly.
  • When eating biscuits, go for dry and plain ones that help soak the saliva.
  • If this escalates to severe vomiting, visit your doctor immediately to get medications for it.

Can You Prevent Excess Saliva When Pregnant?

As much as one would like to know how to stop excessive saliva during pregnancy, unfortunately, there are no precautions, no habits, no exotic techniques that can help reduce the saliva production. It is just a phase, like pregnancy and all the other changes that your body undergoes, and will pass away over time. Do not overthink about it or let down your mood and be disgusted by what’s happening to you. It is natural, it is a bodily response. So, take it lightly as much as you can.

When to Consult the Doctor?

Excess saliva might seem extremely weird when it starts happening to a pregnant woman, but it is just as natural as morning sickness, without the popularity surrounding it. Unless the salivation becomes too intense for you to lead a normal life or is combined with constant vomiting severely, there is no reason to visit your doctor for it. They might help you put your mind to ease but on a medical level, there isn’t anything to worry about.

A baby having a drool is fine but when the same happens to pregnant women, it seems embarrassing. Just know in your heart, that this is a natural response to the changes in your body and drooling or excessive saliva is nothing than a minor annoyance. Keep it at that and focus on the better parts of your journey through pregnancy.

Also Read: Change In Urine Colour during Pregnancy