Pregnancy brings about a lot of changes in your body. The hormonal changes can not only affect your weight or moods but can affect your dental health too. Many women complain of a dry mouth while pregnant. Mouth dryness in pregnancy is nothing unheard of but is not something many women discuss either.
A dry mouth is one of the symptoms of pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body is busy making the baby and requires a lot more food and water to do it all. In order to supply more blood to the developing baby, your body will start storing more water. This is why you may feel thirstier while pregnant. It is also the reason why pregnant women are asked to increase their fluid intake and stay hydrated at all times.
Mouth dryness during pregnancy can be very uncomfortable and lead to irritation as well. A dry mouth is prone to the build-up of bacteria, which can not only affect your breath but your taste buds as well.
So, what causes this dry mouth during pregnancy for some women?
1. Dehydration - During pregnancy, your body loses water faster than you take it in. As a result, you can feel dehydrated. This is why pregnant women are asked to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Multiple visits to the toilet can contribute to your dehydration and lead to dry mouth during early pregnancy.
2. Sleep Troubles - Pregnancy can make it very difficult to sleep through the night. When you are overtired and sleep, it can lead to snoring or sleep apnea, both of which can keep your mouth open while sleeping. As a result, you may experience dry mouth at night during pregnancy.
3. Thrush - When the fungus Candida Albicans starts growing and crosses the normal range, you can have thrush. Thrush is a yeast infection that can cause dry mouth, make your tongue feel like cotton and cover it with a cheese-like lesion. You may even experience soreness or redness in your mouth. Your sense of smell can also be impacted.
4. Diabetes - Diabetes or gestational diabetes can make you feel very thirsty very often. As a result, your mouth will feel dry and scratchy. An increase in your sugar levels will also make you want to urinate more frequently, which can also lead to dehydration.
How do you know if you are experiencing dry mouth during pregnancy or just thirsty? Here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
· You have trouble swallowing
· Throat feels itchy
· Nose is dry on the inside
· Throat feels horse and you can’t speak like usual
· Everything tastes different
· Tooth decay
You can try the following home remedies to cure your mouth dryness during pregnancy:
· Hard Candy – Hard candies can help secrete saliva and help with dry mouth while pregnant. However, they can be very rich in sugar, which is not safe if your glucose levels are already high.
· Chewing Gum – Chewing gum can again help secrete more saliva. You can always opt for the sugar-free option if you want to avoid consuming too much sugar.
· Hydrate – Keep drinking a lot of fluid sand stay hydrated. If plain water is not easy to drink, you can have flavoured water or juices without sugar.
· Ice Chips – If you are suffering from nausea along with dry mouth, you can suck on ice chips.
· Skip Caffeine – Caffeine can dehydrate you. Skip the coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
· Oral Health – Dry mouth can lead to a build-up of bacteria, which in turn can lead to tooth decay. So use a mouthwash specifically made for dry mouth, brush and floss regularly to keep your mouth and teeth clean and healthy.
Sometimes, home remedies may not suffice for dry mouth during pregnancy. You may need to consult a doctor and undergo some treatment or take medications to help improve your mouth dryness during pregnancy. Your doctor might try the following:
· Change medications to check if any of them are causing the dry mouth
· Treat issues like sleep apnoea or snoring which can dry your mouth when asleep
· Protect your teeth with fluoride trays at night
· Plan to manage your diabetes if it is the reason for your dry mouth. This will include diet, lifestyle, medications and exercises.
· If thrush is the root cause of your dry mouth, then treat it with pregnancy-safe medicines.
Mouth dryness during pregnancy is not an uncommon side effect. Many women can just increase their water intake and keep their mouth dryness in check. However, some women can start experiencing dry mouth in pregnancy first trimester itself. They cannot suffer throughout the pregnancy. Seeking medical help from a doctor can help.
If your mouth dryness does not improve as your pregnancy progresses or if the home remedies don’t help, then you need to see a doctor. You should also consult your doctor at the earliest, if:
· You have symptoms of thrush
· Notice your teeth suddenly decaying
· Feel very dehydrated
· You have symptoms of gestational diabetes.
None of the above mentioned conditions can be ignored during pregnancy. Addressing them at the earliest will ensure you have a comfortable and healthy pregnancy.
A dry mouth during pregnancy is not a very serious issue to worry about. Simple home remedies and lifestyle changes can help keep your mouth dryness under control. Sometimes, you may need to seek medical advice. Your doctor can prescribe medications and treatments that are safe for your pregnancy, yet effective to combat mouth dryness in pregnancy.
1. What causes dry mouth at night during pregnancy?
· Dry mouth at night during pregnancy could be due to snoring or sleep apnea, which keeps your mouth slightly open, thus leading to dryness. Severe dehydration during the day can also make your mouth feel very dry at night.
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