When you’re pregnant, it’s not unusual to have a dry mouth. In fact, some women report feeling more thirsty or having a dry mouth from the moment they wake up until they go to bed at night. For most, this is just an annoying side effect of being pregnant and does nothing to interfere with their daily lives. But for others, it can be downright debilitating, which is why this post will give you some simple ways that may help your mouth feel less dry during pregnancy!
What causes dry mouth?
Your mouth is constantly moistened by saliva to help you speak, chew, and swallow. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva or moisture, it can feel uncomfortably dry. There are many reasons why the amount of saliva in your mouth changes during pregnancy, but most experts believe that an increase in hormones plays a significant role.
There are some other potential factors that may also contribute to this problem, including:
• Dehydration: When dehydrated, your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs to function normally. If you don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated, making your mouth dryer than normal.
• Changes in diet: Salt is often used as a condiment in foods such as soups or high-sodium vegetables like canned spinach or baked beans. When pregnant women limit the amount of salt they eat, this can sometimes contribute to mouth dryness. This may be because sodium affects saliva production, and having less of it makes your mouth dryer than usual.
• Thrush: This is a common yeast infection that causes white patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat. When a mother has thrush, it can lead to a dry mouth.
How can I keep my mouth from feeling so dry?
The following section will highlight five ways you may be able to reduce the dryness of your mouth during pregnancy:
- Drink water throughout the day! You need more water than usual when you’re pregnant, so make sure you drink enough of it throughout each day if possible. Drinking plenty of water will reduce your risk of becoming dehydrated. It can also increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which can help you feel less dry.
- Chew gum! If you feel like your mouth is particularly dry, chewing a sugar free gum may help keep it moistened until your next sip of water or meal. It’s not only an excellent way to stimulate saliva production, but this simple act has even been shown to decrease stress levels! Plus, if you’re experiencing heartburn, it’ll give you something else to chew on rather than laying down flat with an empty stomach.
- Try to strengthen your teeth! A dry mouth can lead to enamel erosion which can expose the soft tissues of your teeth to harmful plaque and acid. This leads to tooth decay, cavities, and even root canal infections! You can strengthen your teeth by eating a healthy diet or taking supplements such as calcium and phosphorous.
- Avoid decongestants! Decongestants are drugs that clear up stuffy noses caused by a cold or allergies. While they’re effective for stopping the symptoms of a stuffy nose, they also have some side effects, which may include making your mouth drier than usual. In fact, many pregnant women report having a dry mouth right after using these types of over-the-counter medications without realizing why. If you think you need to take some medicine to control congestion from a cold or allergies, ask your doctor first before taking a decongestant, as this might worsen your pregnancy symptoms.
- Try sugarless lozenges! Sugar-free lozenges are an effective way to help keep your mouth moist during pregnancy. It can be beneficial if you have a dry mouth due to dehydration. This is often caused by not drinking enough water. If you’re exercising, working outside in hot weather, or just haven’t had anything to drink for several hours, having a regular sugary candy may make your dry mouth feel even worse because these types of snacks contain ingredients that can worsen dehydration.
What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
Although the majority of pregnant women will experience some degree of dryness in their mouths, there are certain situations where it may indicate a more severe problem:
• An unusually dry mouth that lasts longer than a few days or a dry mouth accompanied by a sore throat, a change in the colour of your tongue, or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
• Dryness that interferes with your daily activities such as talking and eating. This may be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water each day because being hydrated will help add moisture to saliva and keep your mouth from feeling too dry during the day.
Make sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, as they may need to prescribe you medications that will help with your pregnancy symptoms.