Pregnancy is an exciting time—but during this process, your body will undergo all sorts of changes and symptoms. One lesser-known pregnancy symptom, dry mouth, is worth learning about, as it can have adverse effects on your oral health. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to treat your dry mouth during pregnancy. Here, we’ll look into what dry mouth is, how to relieve it, and other helpful oral health tips during pregnancy.
Relief For Dry Mouth During Pregnancy
According to the American Dental Association, the hormone shifts during pregnancy can lead to a lack of saliva, also known as xerostomia. This condition is not only uncomfortable, but it can also affect your oral health. Without enough saliva to wash away debris and control bacteria in your mouth, your teeth and gums are more susceptible to plaque buildup and cavities. Beyond changing hormones, your dry mouth could also be a symptom of gestational diabetes. According to the NHS, this type of diabetes occurs when pregnant women develop high blood pressure. Luckily, this condition usually goes away after pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing a dry mouth during pregnancy, be sure to inform your medical professional so that they can rule out any conditions beyond hormonal changes, such as gestational diabetes. If you’re looking for a quick-fix, follow these easy solutions to help relieve pregnancy dry mouth:
- Increase your fluid intake to stimulate saliva - drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated.
- Suck on ice chips, which can also help relieve nausea.
- Have sugar-free candies and sugar-free gum on hand - they also help stimulate saliva flow.
- Try turning on a humidifier in your room while you sleep.
During pregnancy, it is more important than ever to keep up good oral care habits. Dry mouth is a potential problem, but there are other pregnancy-specific oral health issues to watch out for. You may experience conditions like pregnancy gingivitis and “pregnancy tumors,” which are non-cancerous overgrowths of tissue on the gum. That’s why it’s vital to maintain good oral health habits during pregnancy, which means brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth daily with floss, water flossers, or another interdental cleaning device.
A baby’s teeth start to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy—so it’s crucial not only to make healthy diet decisions for your oral health but your baby’s, too. Foods like green leafy vegetables, carrots, nuts, and milk will help to keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition, thanks to the fact that they contain calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Eating less sugary foods can also promote a healthier smile because sugary and starchy foods make your mouth a friendly environment for bacteria, leading to acid attacks on your tooth enamel. Also, be sure to see your dentist at least once while you are pregnant. As medical professionals do not recommend getting professional cleanings during the first and third trimesters, the second trimester is the best time to see your dental professional and consider a cleaning appointment.
Pregnancy dry mouth is not only an uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy—but it can also put you at a greater risk for problems like tooth decay and infections. Luckily, the fix is easy. Staying hydrated, maintaining excellent oral care, and making healthy diet decisions all help your mouth (and your baby’s growing teeth) remain strong and healthy.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.