Amid pregnancy, a few issues may emerge, which can put the life of the mother and the child in jeopardy. Then again, a few problems, though not serious, can annoy you during pregnancy. Are you an expecting mother who feels extremely thirsty most of the time? Does your mouth turn dry more often? It is another fairly common condition regularly found among several pregnant women sooner or later over the span of pregnancy. It is called dry mouth (often referred to as the cottonmouth).
- Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
- What Are The Consequences Of Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
- Can A Dry Mouth During Pregnancy Indicate Any Other Complication?
- How Can Dry Mouth During Pregnancy Be Managed And Treated?
- 10 Tips To Deal With Cotton Mouth During Pregnancy
Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
Dry mouth during pregnancy is neither a condition, nor a disease. It is just a symptom or a side effect of some underlying conditions. The dry mouth:
- Often gets worse during the night
- Is often accompanied with chapped lips and dried stuffy nose, and parched throat
- The tongue may turn pale white, indicating the intensity of dryness. It is more apparent when you wake up in the morning
- Sometimes you may also feel a metallic taste in the mouth, which is a result of hormones playing with your sense of taste. Dry mouth increases the metallic feeling
What Are The Consequences Of Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
Dry mouth or cottonmouth is an annoying condition that often appears during the first trimester of pregnancy (when frequent urination and vomiting increases, the chances of water loss from the bodyalso increases). Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it can also negatively influence your oral health. Without sufficient saliva to wash away the debris of food you eat and to control microbes in your mouth, your teeth and gum become more vulnerable to the development of plaque and tooth cavities. Remember, oral health has a significant role in a healthy pregnancy.
What Causes Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
- Hormonal changes: As usual, mostly dry mouth during pregnancy more often happens due to the changes in the hormone levels. Increased estrogen levels can result in the reduction of the production of saliva. This is the body’s way of making the expecting mother drink more water, which is necessary to compensate for the water loss through increased urination and vomiting (If any)
- Medications: If the mother is taking certain medicines like anti-depressants, diuretics (for hypertension), epilepsy, bronchodilators, etc. it can leave her mouth dry as a side effect
- Increased metabolism: During pregnancy, the metabolic rate increases, using up the water content of the body. If sufficient fluid is not replaced, as more water is absorbed by the cells, it can result in dehydration and dry mouth
- Increased blood volume: From the first month of pregnancy onwards, the blood volume starts to increase. Thus, more fluids will be processed through the kidneys, resulting in increased frequency of urination. This may lead to dry mouth, which is the foremost symptom of dehydration
Can A Dry Mouth During Pregnancy Indicate Any Other Complication?
The condition of dry mouth should not be ignored, especially when you are pregnant. This is because the dry mouth can be an indication of any underlying issues. For example,
- Gestational diabetes: Dry mouth, if accompanied by cracking lips, bad breath, and intense thrust, and burning sensation in the mouth could be an indication of gestational diabetes, which ought to be confirmed as early as possible. You must take the necessary steps to control it as soon as possible
- Hypertension: A headache accompanied by a dry mouth can be an indication of high blood pressure, which also ought to be controlled as soon as possible during pregnancy
- Anemia: If the burning sensation in the tongue, dryness of the throat, and sores at corners of the mouth are also observed with a dry mouth, it can be an indication of severe anemia
How Can Dry Mouth During Pregnancy Be Managed And Treated?
As mouth dryness is not a disease or condition, there is no specific treatment for it. Once the underlying conditions which cause the mouth dryness are taken care of, the mouth dryness will also disappear. If there is no underlying condition and the mouth dryness is just as the result of increased pregnancy hormones, then it can be managed by increasing the intake of water.
In any case, you don’t have to adjust to the distress caused by a dry mouth throughout your pregnancy; there are a couple of self-care measures and home cures you can practice to lessen the dryness in your mouth. Given underneath are some tips that you could follow:
10 Tips To Deal With Cotton Mouth During Pregnancy
- As the mouth dryness tends to increase during the night, try to keep your mouth closed and breathe through your nose while sleeping
- Using a humidifier in your room will increase the moisture in the room, thereby, helping to reduce the dryness of your mouth
- Chew sugar-free gum (after asking your doctor). This will help to stimulate the production of saliva
- Eliminate alcohol completely as it increases, the mouth dryness
- Avoid being exposed to smoke as it aggravates mouth dryness
- Inhale steam for 5 to 10 minutes, which will help to clear the nasal passage and retain the moisture in the airway, which indirectly helps to reduce the dry mouth as the breathing through the mouth become easier
- Brush, floss, and rinse the mouth twice daily for good oral hygiene. Use only alcohol-free mouthwash for rinsing your mouth
- Reduce the consumption of tea, coffee, and aerated drinks as it may increase the thirst and cause the mouth dry
- Avoid too sugary and salty foods
- Finally, yet importantly, drink plenty of water. Never compromise on it. If you don’t like its ‘taste’ squeeze a lemon for “flavored water.” Sucking ice chips will also help to retain moisture in the mouth. Drinking coconut water is a good solution for dry mouth