Pregnancy certainly surprises with some nasty experiences. One of such annoying condition is the production of excess saliva or hypersalivation. Unlike morning sickness, hypersalivation is not popular. In fact, most of the pregnant women might not even be heard of it. But experiencing hypersalivation could be downright annoying. So, here is everything you need to know to make the condition less exasperating.
Excessive Salivation during pregnancy (Hypersalivation):
The production of excessive saliva during pregnancy is called ptyalism or sialorrhea. This condition is usually associated with nausea and vomiting and subsides as nausea improves.
Under normal circumstances, a human body produces 1.5 quarts of saliva a day. But this goes unnoticed because we swallow continually and unconsciously. During pregnancy, the salivation seems increased because it might be actually produced more or you are swallowing less (due to nausea) or it might be a combination of both.
Causes of Hypersalivation:
Experts are not sure what causes hypersalivation during pregnancy but the likely factors which could affect the saliva production are:
Hormonal changes might be blamed as it causes nausea and makes some women to swallow less. The retention of saliva in mouth causes hypersalivation.
It is an extreme form of morning sickness. It builds up saliva in the mouth as you swallow less saliva to avoid unpleasantness.
Heartburn or acidity:
Expanding uterus push up the acidic content from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing irritation and heartburn. The acid sensors in the oesophagus trigger the salivary glands to produce excess saliva to neutralize the acid.
Exposure to toxic chemicals could trigger excessive saliva production.
Such as Tooth decay or oral infections could trigger saliva production. Medications such as tranquillizers, anticonvulsants, anticholinesterases could cause hypersalivation.
Dealing with the Hypersalivation:
- Brush your teeth and use mouthwash several times a day. It provides relief from excessive salivation to a certain extent.
- Eat well-balanced small meals with shorter intervals in between.
- Avoid consuming starchy food or the food that are high in carbohydrates.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water or consume liquids. Keep a water bottle handy and have sips frequently. Drinking a lot of water is absolutely necessary as the saliva production is more and you are swallowing less amount of saliva. Also, drinking water helps in swallowing more amount of saliva along with the water sips.
- Get your oral checkups done regularly and watch out for any oral or dental infections. Excessive saliva production could be associated with mouth problems or gum problems. If there is an infection, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics.
- Swallow excess saliva if you can. Otherwise, try sucking hard candy or chewing sugarless candy, chewing gums or mints. This will divert your attention from the excessive saliva in your mouth and also, it helps in swallowing excess saliva.
- Avoid sour candy and gums as these could stimulate salivary glands to produce more saliva.
- Suck on ice cubes. This will numb your mouth and thereby reduces saliva production.
- Sucking on a lime or chewing a piece of ginger can also keep hypersalivation condition in check. But before trying these home remedies, make sure to consult your doctor.
- Munch on crunchy fruits and veggies like apples and carrots.
- Eat dry and plain crackers. This helps you in swallowing excess saliva.
Chinese herbal medicines:
Traditional Chinese herbal medicines offer a wide range of medicines to treat hypersalivation. It aims at restoring the balance of yin and yang (or wet and dry) in the body. Some of the common herbs used in the Chinese medicines are Alpinia oxyphylla, Pinellia, Poria and magnolia bark.
If swallowing the excess saliva makes you nauseated, spit it out in a tissue or washcloth or a cup. Even at night while you are trying to sleep, keep something into which you could spit the excess saliva.