Pregnancy is an exciting and joyful event of a woman’s life, but it can also make her experience several unpleasant conditions.
The common pregnancy symptoms which occur during this stage are due to the hormonal fluctuations taking place in a woman’s body. The changes in the metabolic activity which have been activated by conception usually cause a woman to experience vomiting, nausea, heartburn, fatigue, frequent urination, sore nipples and abdominal cramps.
Is it normal to have dry mouth during pregnancy?
Most pregnant women also experience a significant increase in thirst or a dry mouth in addition to the symptoms mentioned above as the hormonal changes in the body can trigger dry mouth syndrome.
Possible Causes of Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
Several pregnant women feel their mouth get very dry at some point and wonder if it is normal. Women at their early stage of pregnancy are liable to suffer from bad breath and cotton mouth, particularly when they wake up in the morning. The exact causes of dry mouth during pregnancy are still not clear, but most health professionals believe that this problem is caused by various conditions which include:
Sometimes you wake up with a dry mouth despite drinking the amount of water you usually have each day. This is as a result of the increase in the body fluid requirement as the fetus in the womb grows and develops. The increase in the metabolic process and frequent urination due to pregnancy hormones could also cause your body to get dried up faster. Dryness in the mouth is neither caused by a disease nor a condition but it can best be described as a symptom of underlying pregnancy conditions. However, mouth dryness comes along with other signs and symptoms like:
- Split Lips
- Difficulty in eating or swallowing
- Dry throat
- Bad breath
- Burning sensation in the throat
- Rawness of the tongue
It is highly important to inform your doctor about the dryness in your mouth during pregnancy. In some instances, mouth dryness could indicate diabetes. Increased thirst and urination are caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. Therefore, diabetic women are most likely to experience mouth dryness, since their bodies lose more water compared to healthy women.
Taking certain prescribed drugs may increase the likelihood of having a dry mouth during pregnancy. Mouth dryness is a common side effect of many prescription drugs although it is not a serious problem. This may be quite difficult and therefore, you must consult your doctor before discontinuing any medication.
Examples of medications that can cause dry mouth are diuretics, antihistamines, decongestants, and many others. If you are currently taking any of these medications, inform your doctor.
Once the symptoms of dry mouth are noticed, consulting your doctor is the next thing to do. Your doctor may need to conduct a few tests to rule out any chance of diabetes.
There is no specific medical treatment for dry mouth since it is not a condition. However, the discomfort should be handled with a few self-care measures and home remedies. Given below are a few tips that you can try at home:
- Take a few sips of water every half an hour to keep your mouth damp. Accompany each meal with a glass of water to aid swallowing and chewing.
- Keep your mouth closed, even when sleeping.
- Always ensure you make a conscious effort to breathe through your nose and avoid blocked nose before drifting off to sleep.
- To help keep the nasal passage and airways moist, breathe in the steam for about 15 to 20 minutes daily. It also reduces dryness in the mouth.
- Caffeine, coffee, soda water, and alcohol are diuretics and cause the body to lose water and therefore, must be eliminated from your diet.
- Ensure your practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing and rinsing the mouth. This can be done twice in a day. Also, avoid using commercial mouthwashes, as they contain alcohol and can intensify mouth dryness
- Some women smoke during pregnancy. This is highly unacceptable as you must quit smoking completely and avoid any exposure to smoke, as it causes the mouth to get dry.
Experiencing Early Pregnancy Dry Mouth
During early pregnancy, a lot of liquids get processed through the kidneys, and there is an increase in the total blood volume of the body and because the body is trying to store water, it creates the feeling of dehydration and dry mouth. Early pregnancy comes with cracked lips and a burning sensation as listed above.
Drinking enough liquids is the easiest way to avoid dry mouth during the early stage of pregnancy and having a bottle of water on hand always can make it easier to quickly drink the proper amount of water throughout the day. This can avoid waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning to grab a sip of water. Drinks like coconut water can also help combat dry mouth because it contains vitamins and minerals that help dehydration. Staying hydrated is very important for women experiencing morning sickness, vomiting and frequent urination associated with pregnancy.
Most women experience a metal cottonmouth problem during the first trimester of their pregnancy, which can make issues like early morning sickness uncomfortable. In such a case, drinking lemonade or any other citrus-related juices can reduce the metal taste in the mouth. But if the problem persists after taking precautions to avoid it, a basic underlying issue needs to be addressed. Some pregnant women experience gestational diabetes, causing high blood sugar from hormones affecting the way insulin processes glucose.
Dry mouth comes with extreme thirst as the first and most intense symptom ever noticed with zero salivae when you wake up in the mornings. A pregnant woman’s blood volume rises by 50% (it is advisable to take iron rich foods during pregnancy). The theory is that the body needs extra water to bulk up, and apparently most pregnant women don’t get enough. Some women have a hard time drinking a lot in the winter when the weather condition is always cold. If pushed hard to drink more during the day, they would drink the Ll2-t full glass of water right before bedtime. To alleviate the problem of dry mouth during the early stage of pregnancy, it is important to take enough water even when the condition is unfavorable. Watery mouth and nausea can occur during the first three months of your pregnancy. When that is noticed, you, don’t have to fret because your body is generating excessive saliva and making the stomach a bit nauseous. Try to chew gums to help keep the mouth dry. The fact is that they are going to heal up once the first three months is completed.
A dry mouth during pregnancy is very a common issue and may extend to a dry throat, as well. Fluctuations in hormones may cause other changes in the mouth and throat, such as puffy or bleeding gums or a metallic taste and excessive saliva. These symptoms are normal and more of an irritation than a cause for alarm. A few simple home remedies can help relieve dry throat during pregnancy.
Home Remedies for Dry Throat During Pregnancy
A dry mouth gel might be the first thing that comes to mind when treating dry mouth and its symptoms. However, this may not be necessary. Below are some alternative remedies that you can try at home to address the problem.
Consume Lozenges and Liquids
A dry throat can be moist by drinking mild, herbal teas. Many food stores sell pregnancy teas that support a healthy pregnancy, You can add honey and lemon, this naturally soothes coughs and sore throats. Lozenges and mints increase saliva production, and sucking on them may reduce the feeling of a dry mouth.
According to Dr. Aviva Jill Romm, pregnant women should consume t/2 gallon of water each day, in addition to herbal teas. Fluids are very necessary to support increased blood supply and production of adequate amniotic fluids. Getting enough liquids will also reduce the feeling of a dry throat.
Did you know that chewing gum can stimulate your salivary gland? Hence, chewing on a sugar-free gum can increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, keeping it lubricated.
When a little bit of ground pepper is taken and rubbed over the tongue, it causes a burning sensation in the mouth, but will also stimulate the salivary glands. Alternatively, cayenne pepper can be sprinkled on your salad, soup or other dishes.
There are flavonoids in Fennel seeds that help saliva production. The problem of bad breath and dry mouth can be treated by chewing fennel seeds several times a day, especially after every meal. You can alternatively mix equal quantities of fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds dry roast them in a pan. Grind when cool and add a little salt to this mixture. Take % tbsp of this mixture either directly or with water after every meal.
Grape Seed Oil
Rub some grapeseed oil on your tongue and the internal part of your cheek. Leave it over the night and rinse your mouth with warm water in the morning. After this, brush your teeth with fluoride-containing toothpaste.
Drink 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice. It triggers salivary glands to secrete more saliva and thus help cure the problem of dry mouth. Also, rinse your mouth with aloe vera juice.
Ginger is known for its effective power in activating the salivary glands and providing a fresh feel to the mouth. A small piece of ginger should be chewed. It also acts as a great appetizer and as well freshens the breath. Ginger juice helps solve the problem of dry mouth for a long time.
Final Thoughts on Mouth Dryness During Pregnancy
While dryness of the mouth is relatively normal among pregnant women, there are other conditions that can trigger the problem. Some are easily treated while some are more serious than others. Sjogren Syndrome, for example, is an autoimmune disease that affects your salivary gland which further causes dry mouth.
Simply put, these conditions may have to be ruled out by your doctor in case your problem with dry mouth persists despite your efforts to treat it. Also, note that untreated dry mouth can often lead to complications like tooth decay and gum disease. So, early diagnosis and treatment is the key.