Increased Saliva in Early Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a stage in which your body undergoes many simultaneous changes. One of these is excessive salivation accompanied with nausea. This condition is known as ptyalism or sialorrhea, where the quantity of saliva produced in the mouth is more than normal, such that you may feel the need to spit it out.

Coupled with nausea, ptyalism can be unpleasant in pregnancy but the condition might only persist in the beginning of the pregnancy. In most cases you will stop salivating excessively after the first trimester is complete. Although in certain cases if the nausea persists, ptyalism might continue until five months of pregnancy or until the baby is born. Fortunately, this condition does not harm the baby. Read on to learn how you deal with this uncomfortable symptom.

Causes of Increased Saliva in Early Pregnancy

The production of saliva in the mouth is a normal process of which we are not usually conscious. On average our bodies can produce up to one and a half quarts of saliva daily. The production of saliva is not inherently bad and it might be a mechanism to deal with other problems in your body due to pregnancy. The benefits of salivating are as follows:

  • It helps counterbalance acidity.
  • It helps lubricate your mouth.
  • It contains enzymes that helps digest food by breaking it down into simpler sugars.
  • It has antibacterial agents which protects your teeth and the lining of your mouth.

The production of saliva becomes a problem when one is either producing more saliva or is able to swallow less saliva. There are several reasons suggested for this condition, although a direct cause has not been identified.

  • Hormonal imbalances are identified as a precedent for ptyalism.
  • Due to nausea there is an urge to swallow less; this creates more saliva in the mouth.
  • Severe morning sickness known as Hyperemesis gravidarum, in which excessive vomiting leads to dehydration has also been linked to the cause of ptyalism. Vomiting leads to production of excessive saliva.
  • Heartburn also contributes to ptyalism. The increased acidity in your stomach might irritate your esophagus. To quell this burning sensation due to acidity, the salivary glands produce more saliva concentrated with bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is alkaline in nature and is used to neutralize the acidity. Swallowing this saliva helps offset acidity in your esophagus.
  • Smoking can increase the production of saliva in your mouth.
  • Infections of the mouth and tooth decay can lead to excessive salivation.
  • Mercury or pesticide exposure as well as the use of certain medications can also cause a person to produce more saliva than normal.
  • Certain preexisting medical conditions might be contributing to ptyalism.

How to Deal with Increased Saliva in Early Pregnancy

The first step to deal with ptyalism in pregnancy is to consult a certified medical practitioner or your regular gynecologist for a solution. Certain medications to prevent nausea or heartburn can sometimes effectively address this issue. You should have a positive outlook about your pregnancy because ptyalism is not harmful to you or the baby, unless you are suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).

You can abide by the following measure to counter the unpleasantness caused by ptyalism.

  • Try swallowing excess saliva and distracting yourself by not thinking about it too much.
  • If you smoke, the rational and healthy approach would be to quit smoking.
  • Clean your teeth by brushing your mouth and rinsing it with mouthwash.
  • Avoid foods that are starchy or contain a lot of carbohydrates. A well-balanced diet in small portions is recommended.
  • Keep your body and mouth hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby and drink in small sips.
  • Keep sugar-free gum or hard candy in your mouth which would make your saliva palatable.
  • Suck on a lemon or lime, or put a few drops of lemon or lime essential oil on a tissue to sniff in order to avoid feeling nauseated.
  • Suck on a minty flavored sweet or chew mint-flavoured gum.
  • Try sucking an ice cube.
  • You can even spit the excess saliva in a cup or a tissue to dry your mouth. If you spit saliva out frequently, make sure you drink enough water to replenish your body’s requirement for water.

Other Symptoms in Early Pregnancy



Hormone Changes

During pregnancy women experience a plethora of hormonal changes which often lead to feelings of nausea, dizziness, headaches, breast tenderness, frequent mood changes, change in dietary preferences, morning sickness and an increased need to urinate.

Weight Changes

Gaining weight during early pregnancy is beneficial for the baby’s health because your body can provide the necessary nutrients for his or her growth. Do not try to lose weight because it will leave insufficient energy in your body. In some cases women might experience weight loss too. As long as the prenatal vitamin requirements for your child are completely incorporated in your diet, weight loss is not a cause for concern.

Food Cravings

Your diet should be balanced. You might experience bouts of craving for certain types of food, try to eat what you like so that you don’t deprive your body of essential nutrients.

Stuffed Nose

You might experience difficulty breathing as easily due to a stuffed nose in or by the end of the first trimester of your pregnancy. You can inhale steam from boiling water to open your blocked nose. Medications for this can only be taken after consultation from the doctor.

Morning Sickness

This refers to a condition of nausea or vomiting which can occur at any time during the day. Morning sickness is normally attributed to hormonal changes. It can be countered by taking small meals, drinking water between meals, try to stay relaxed and avoid spicy or fatty foods. Ginger, lemon and peppermint can also be used to prevent nausea. A doctor should be consulted if morning sickness worsens.

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