Excessive Salivation (Ptyalism) in Pregnancy
Have you noticed that you’re producing more saliva than usual? Excessive salivation is a lesser-known pregnancy symptom, and one of the stranger symptoms that you’ll experience when pregnant. The condition is called ptyalism, and it’s common in the first trimester of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, you may feel like you have too much saliva. Some women produce so much saliva that they have to carry around a bucket, or a washcloth to spit into. It’s quite a bothersome pregnancy symptom.
Causes of Ptyalism (Excessive Saliva Production)
Researchers aren’t completely sure what causes ptyalism, or excessive saliva production in pregnancy, but it’s believed that your hormonal changes play a role.
Morning sickness may also be related to excessive salivation in pregnancy, since the two symptoms often go hand in hand. If you’re suffering from morning sickness, you may notice that you’re producing more saliva, because you don’t want to swallow your spit. When you don’t swallow the saliva that you naturally produce, this causes more saliva to build up in your mouth. Hence, you will experience excessive salivation.
Some experts argue that excessive salivation isn’t a true pregnancy symptom. Pregnant women are just more aware of their saliva – possibly because they’re not swallowing it, due to morning sickness.
Other researchers believe that ptyalism may be related to heartburn – another common pregnancy symptom. Saliva contains bicarbonate (an alkaline), which may neutralize the gastric acid that you’re producing. So if you’re suffering from pregnancy heartburn, you may produce more saliva to combat it.
Whatever the cause, excessive saliva in pregnancy is annoying.
Coping with Excessive Salivation in Pregnancy
Having too much saliva won’t harm your baby, so don’t worry about that. It’s important that you try to swallow your spit, or at least drink plenty of water to keep well hydrated. (Dehydration isn’t good for your baby, and it’s not healthy for you.)
If you’re suffering from ptyalism, you’ll want to figure out any underlying conditions that may be contributing to it – like vomiting and nausea, or heartburn. Once you treat that underlying problem, your excessive salivation may start to go away, or become less bothersome.
Don’t know what’s causing you to produce more saliva than normal? Some pregnant women get relief from excessive salivation by brushing their teeth several times a day, chewing cinnamon or minted gum (since this makes their saliva taste better), and sucking on hard candies.
When you notice that there’s too much saliva in your mouth, swallow it. This will help get rid of the excess saliva in your mouth.
It’s very important that you try not to stress out about excessive salivation. It is an early pregnancy symptom that will disappear once you reach the second trimester – around 14 weeks pregnant.