Dry Mouth During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatment
Dry mouth during pregnancy is almost always normal. It occurs mainly because your body needs more water than normal, for the development of your baby. Besides, changing hormones in pregnancy also affect your oral health, and can lead to many issues like loose teeth, gingivitis, and dry mouth.
Causes of dry mouth during pregnancy
The most common causes of dry mouth in pregnancy are:
When your body loses water faster than it intakes, it causes dehydration, which can be dangerous among pregnant women. Dehydration can lead to premature labor.
Thus, you need more water during this time than you normally do. Signs of dehydration are:
● feeling overheated
● Extreme thirst
● Dark urine
Gestational diabetes can cause high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes occurs when the body fails to make extra insulin needed during pregnancy.
This can cause problems for the mother and the baby, but is manageable with proper care, including a healthy diet and exercise and sometimes medications. Some common signs of gestational diabetes are excessive thirst, fatigue, and needing to urinate more often.
Thrush refers to the overgrowth of Candida albicans in the mouth. We all have a small amount of Candida in our mouth, but it can outgrow if you have a weak immune system or have imbalances in healthy bacteria. Thrush can lead to a dry and cottony feeling in your mouth and sometimes pain.
Other signs of thrush are:
● White, cheese-like lesions on your tongue and mouth
● Bleeding cheeks when scrapped
● Redness in your mouth
● Loss of taste
Pregnant women may face sleep difficulties, including snoring and sleep apnea. Snoring is common during the second and third trimesters. It is more common if you smoke, are overweight, or have enlarged tonsils.
Changing hormones can also narrow your nasal and throat passages, causing breathing issues. Snoring makes you breathe with an open mouth while you are asleep. This makes saliva production difficult which can cause drying of your mouth.
How to treat dry mouth during pregnancy
You can treat mild dry mouth with home remedies, such as:
● Staying Hydrated: Experts recommend drinking ten 8oz. cups of water every day during pregnancy to stay well hydrated. If you pass dark yellow urine, it means you should drink more water. Clear yellow urine means you are hydrated.
● Avoiding Coffee and Soda: Beverages like coffee, soda, and alcohol can dry out the mouth.
● Trying some Frozen Fruit or Ice: Consuming frozen fruit and sucking on ice chips quite frequently can moisten your mouth while keeping you hydrated.
● Using A Humidifier: At night, use a humidifier to retain moisture in the air, thus preventing dry mouth. Make sure you clean the humidifier always to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Buy a cool-mist humidifier to prevent or decrease the risk of bacteria growth. It works because bacteria grow in warm moist environments.
● Using Chewing Gum or hard candies: Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow and keeps your mouth moistened.
You should always see a doctor if you experience other symptoms like tooth pain or decay, thrush, severe dehydration, sleep apnea, and gestational diabetes.