Dry mouth during pregnancy is a common and often overlooked problem in pregnancy. It is characterized by having little to no saliva in the mouth, causing dryness and irritation of the mouth.
Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva, or they stop altogether.
Because saliva plays such an important role in oral health, especially during pregnancy with all the increased hormone fluctuations and sleep disturbances, the dry mouth is very uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies to relieve your dry mouth with little to no cost.
Why Is Your Mouth So Dry During Pregnancy?
There are many reasons why you may be suffering from dry mouth during pregnancy.
One reason is that your pH balance has changed due to the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy.
Your body will often try to compensate for these changes, however, which can result in your saliva becoming more alkaline than it would normally be.
When you experience this condition, this may be an indication that your body is trying to compensate for the changes in pH balance.
The second cause of dry mouth during pregnancy is dehydration.
If you are not drinking enough water every day, then your saliva glands will run out of fluid and eventually shut down. It is essential to keep yourself well hydrated during pregnancy.
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A third reason you may be experiencing dry mouth during pregnancy is insufficient production of saliva by the salivary glands which are located in your mouth.
The gland for producing saliva is called the parotid gland, and without it, you will suffer from a dry mouth during pregnancy because you will not have enough saliva to keep your mouth moisturized.
Another possible reason for this condition is antacids which may be used to counter the morning sickness symptoms.
Antacids neutralize stomach acid, and can also affect the salivary glands in doing so.
An over-the-counter remedy such as Tums or Rolaids may help with nausea, but some antacids can actually reduce the production of saliva in the salivary gland.
These are not all of the reasons you may experience dry mouth during pregnancy.
It is important to realize that if your dry mouth lasts for more than two weeks then it could potentially be due to something else entirely.
See a doctor for your dry mouth during pregnancy to make sure you are not suffering from a more serious condition.
Here are several reasons why you might have a dry mouth during pregnancy:
- Pregnancy hormones cause decreased blood flow to the mouth
- Thick saliva blocks salivary ducts
- Nerve damage in the face causes dry mouth
- Iron deficiency (regardless of cause)
- Excessive vomiting
- Mouth breathing
- Increased acidity in your mouth due to pregnancy hormones causes loss of taste and sensation, leading to less saliva production
How Do You Know if You Have Dry Mouth?
There are various symptoms that indicate the presence of dry mouth:
- A feeling of sticky, chalky, or pasty mouth
- Increased thirst and dry skin
- Canker sores on the tongue, inside of the cheek, and lips
- Tongue feels bumpy and swollen
- Bad breath
Dry Mouth When Pregnant, What Does NHS Say?
The NHS explains that dry mouth during pregnancy is more like a dry sensation in the mouth, rather than an actual lack of saliva.
It’s difficult to tell exactly how much less saliva you have since most pregnant women produce extra saliva due to increased hormones and fatigue.
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If you’re practicing good oral hygiene and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, then the actual decline might be happening in your salivary glands or saliva ducts.
This can be caused by high hormone levels, mouth breathing, and dehydration.
How Can You Make Your Mouth More Comfortable?
There are several ways to help make your mouth more comfortable when you have a dry mouth during pregnancy.
The first is to avoid foods that are acidic or spicy, as both of these food types can contribute to dehydration in the body.
Eating smaller meals throughout the day will also help to keep your stomach contents at a more even level which may reduce nausea and vomiting.
When you brush your teeth, make sure you are using a soft manual or electric toothbrush.
Brushing too hard can cause irritation and damage to the gums and teeth. Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash instead of brushing after meals as well, since alcohol can also contribute to dry mouth during pregnancy.
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Try adding moisture to the air in your home or office, or keep a humidifier running, and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to help fight a dry mouth during pregnancy.
Lastly, try to stick to a schedule where you drink fluids every few hours instead of drinking larger amounts less frequently. This will help prevent dehydration, which can worsen your condition.
15 Home Remedy for Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
Excessive thirst is also common, so drinking lots of water is beneficial.
If you’re pregnant and experiencing dry mouth, then there are several treatments that you can try at home to alleviate the problem.
Here are various home remedies to relieve your dry mouth during pregnancy:
#1) Suck on ice chips
Try sucking on ice chips, mints, or candies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that you look for sugarless options to avoid the risk of cavities.
#2) Rinse with saltwater
Rinsing your mouth with tap water may not be enough, so try rinsing with salt water instead.
The CDC recommends one teaspoon of sea salt per quart of warm, soft water as an effective rinse solution.
#3) Use a humidifier
Keeping your home or office at a comfortable humidity level can help reduce the mouth getting dry during pregnancy.
Try using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. It may also be beneficial to run hot water and let it breathe out steam as well.
#4) Tea with honey and lemon
Celestial Seasonings offers a variety of teas for various ailments, but both lemon tea and honey tea can help to reduce dry mouth during pregnancy.
Just add the juice from half a lemon along with one teaspoon of raw, local honey before steeping your tea in hot water.
Try drinking warm milk or eating a small bowl of cereal with milk. The calcium in both dairy products is thought to help stimulate saliva production so that your mouth feels less dry.
#6) Orange juice/grapefruit juice
Either grapefruit or orange juice can increase saliva flow and reduce waking up with dry mouth during pregnancy.
Opt for a sugar-free variation if you’re concerned about cavities and other side effects of sugar.
#7) Chew gum
Chewing gum, particularly gum that contains xylitol, can increase saliva flow and help you to produce more saliva so that your mouth feels moist again during pregnancy.
Stick with a small piece of sugar-free or natural chewing gum if possible.
#8) Apple sauce
If you’re looking for a way to add more moisture to your diet, try adding some apple sauce.
This fruit paste can also be mixed with cinnamon (to improve the flavor) and spread on bread or crackers as well.
#9) Yogurt or pudding
Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers offers several varieties of yogurt that can help to fight dry mouth pregnancy 6 weeks.
If you’re not a fan of yogurt, then try eating some pudding instead.
#10) Crackers and toast
Rice Cakes offers several different gluten-free crackers for those on a special diet or with digestive issues such as dry mouth during pregnancy.
You can also try eating whole-grain toast with a little jelly, peanut butter, or honey to help keep your mouth moist.
#11) Water or juice
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day. It’s beneficial to drink approximately eight glasses of clear fluid every day to stay hydrated and avoid dry mouth early sign of pregnancy.
You can also try drinking fruit juices like apple juice, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice (especially if it’s freshly squeezed), or tomato juice.
#12) Flavored liquids
Try adding some flavored liquid to your water throughout the day so that you can drink more of it.
Adding lemon, orange, strawberries, cucumber slices, mint leaves/sprigs, or other fruits/vegetables can help to make your water or juice more flavorful.
#13) Cold soup
If you’re looking for a light meal, then try eating some cold soup with vegetables added in throughout the day.
Sipping on broth-based soups can also help to provide relief from the dry mouth during pregnancy.
#14) Sugarless hard candy
The American Cancer Society recommends sucking on sugar-free, artificially sweetened hard candy when you have a dry mouth during pregnancy third trimester.
You can also try eating corn syrup or glucose candies as these are both thought to help increase saliva flow.
#15) Chicken soup
Chicken soup with vegetables added in can be a nutritious and delicious meal for those who are suffering from this condition.
The vegetables can also help to fight off infections and flu symptoms, so be sure to add them if possible.
Drinking warm liquids, eating foods that increase saliva flow, and chewing sugarless gum are all great ways to reduce dry mouth during pregnancy.
Be sure to drink lots of water as well as this is thought to help with saliva production naturally.
If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant soon then make sure to avoid any artificial sweeteners or other diet food/drinks that may lead to dry mouth during early pregnancy.
As much as possible, avoid coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco products. These can all contribute to causing dry mouth early pregnancy symptoms.
It’s also important to make sure you maintain good dental hygiene by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice per day and flossing once per day. You can also try using some mouthwash that contains fluoride, which may help to reduce the risk of cavities.
Humidifiers can be used in conjunction with other remedies for dry mouth during pregnancy at night to provide relief from the symptoms.
Using a humidifier helps to moisturize the air which can help to stay hydrated and combat dry mouth during pregnancy.