What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is a common symptom of pregnancy. Some women experience it throughout their pregnancies, while others only notice it after they give birth. There are many theories about what causes dry mouth in pregnant women. One theory suggests that there may be some hormonal changes going on with your body during pregnancy which affect how you feel about food and drink. Other studies have suggested that it could be due to something called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition where acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus causing symptoms like burning in your throat or difficulty swallowing.
Pregnant Women Have More Acid Reflux Symptoms Than Non-pregnant Women
The symptoms of acid reflux can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some women do not even realize they have it until they get sick and need to go to the bathroom frequently. Others will experience these symptoms during pregnancy and pass them off as normal. In some cases, these reflux symptoms will go away after the baby is born. However, GERD can last longer than the pregnancy and even into old age.
This could mean that some women are experiencing dry mouth during pregnancy as well as long after.
While this theory may seem plausible at first, there is not much direct evidence to support it. Most of the studies that show a link between dry mouth in pregnant women and acid reflux involve women who have GERD that goes untreated. Pregnant women who are treated for GERD do not have an increase in dry mouth during pregnancy.
Are There Any Effective Treatments?
It is important to see your doctor if you experience dry mouth during pregnancy or after you give birth. Your doctor will be able to examine you and run any necessary tests to rule out more serious conditions like Sjogren’s syndrome or achalasia. If they determine you have acid reflux, they will be able to give you suitable treatment.
There are many different treatments for acid reflux disease, such as H2-receptor blockers, proton-pump inhibitors, and antacids. These will help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and may even prevent long-term problems from developing.
Dry mouth can have a serious impact on your quality of life. There are a few things you can do to make the symptoms more manageable. Drinking more water can help because it keeps your mouth moist. Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, can worsen dry mouth, so try and avoid them. Eating foods with high moisture content, such as certain fruits and vegetables, can also help.
You should also take steps to keep your teeth and mouth as clean as possible to prevent cavities or gum disease. If none of these suggestions help, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss other treatment options.
Sources & references used in this article:
Pregnancy rhinitis by EK Ellegård – Immunology and Allergy Clinics, 2006 – immunology.theclinics.com
Oral medicine—update for the dental practitioner: dry mouth and disorders of salivation by C Scully, DH Felix – British dental journal, 2005 – nature.com
Pregnancy toxaemia in the ewe by A Andrews – In practice, 1997 – inpractice.bmj.com
The etiology and management of pregnancy rhinitis by EK Ellegård – American journal of respiratory medicine, 2003 – Springer
Is Dry Mouth a Sign of Pregnancy? by PPSB July – menstrual-cycle-calculator.com
A third study on the use of orally administered anhydrous crystalline maltose for relief of dry mouth in primary Sjögren’s syndrome by PC Fox, MJ Cummins, JM Cummins – The Journal of Alternative & …, 2002 – liebertpub.com