Excessive Saliva While Pregnant
If you are pregnant now or have ever been pregnant, you know how annoying some of the pregnancy symptoms can be.
One of the most frustrating pregnancy symptoms for me was the drooling! What was I, a teething baby myself?
The saliva would always cause this bitter taste in my mouth.
I know personally from experiencing terrible morning sickness with my first pregnancy that sometimes the only warning sign of an impending barf was my mouth suddenly filling up with saliva. Then you’ve got to rush to the toilet as fast as possible! This would happen multiple times a day.
It tastes disgusting! Sometimes, I wasn’t sure if the excess saliva was just a sign I needed to throw up or if the saliva was causing me to throw up.
Was the saliva what was making me throw up? What causes all this saliva?
In this article:
- What Causes Excessive Saliva During Pregnancy?
- Remedies For Excessive Salivation During Pregnancy
- Can I Prevent Excess Saliva During Pregnancy?
- How Long Does Excessive Salivating Typically Last In Pregnancy?
What Causes Excessive Saliva During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body is changing and expanding to fit that growing baby. The gallbladder, the stomach, the liver, and the intestines are all organs that may be pushed up or moved around during pregnancy- and these organs are all also part of the digestive system.
We never really think about our digestion affecting what happens in our mouths, only our stomachs. Digestion actually starts in the mouth, and continues through the gastrointestinal tract, through the stomach and intestines, and even affects bowel movements. Because food digestion starts in the mouth, excessive saliva can be caused by all the crazy digestive changes occurring during pregnancy.
Excessive saliva can be caused by pregnancy symptoms like:
- Bloating and gas
- Abdominal cramping
- Stomach irritability
- Acid reflux
- Difficult or unusual bowel movements
So, what can you do about saliva causing morning sickness or morning sickness causing saliva? How can you get that bitter, sour taste out of your mouth?
Remedies For Excessive Salivation During Pregnancy
Remember, the digestive system starts with the mouth and continues through the stomach and intestines. The good news about all the saliva in your mouth is that it’s related to your stomach issues.
How is this good news? It means that excess saliva can be helped by the same things that improve digestive health for the stomach.
So, think about things you can do that help with morning sickness- those same things can help reduce your drooling!
- Dry foods
I can’t stress enough the relation between saliva and your stomach. Think about what you eat and drink when you’re feeling nauseous- yes, I know that’s all the time when you’re pregnant. Dry foods like saltine crackers and toast are great for both of these symptoms. Dry foods will soak up the saliva sitting in your mouth so it doesn’t cause you to throw up.
- Drinking fluids
Did you know that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? During pregnancy, you need water for yourself AND for the baby. So not only are you already probably not drinking enough fluids, but you will need extra fluids to help take care of the growing baby inside you. Hydration doesn’t only help with this, but also helps wash out the saliva from your mouth.
All fluids can help flush your mouth out and get rid of the bitter, sour taste that pregnancy saliva comes with, but certain fluids can also help with other pregnancy symptoms in different ways. Bubbly fluids like sodas and carbonated waters can help with easing the queasy stomachs as well as reducing saliva. You don’t just need to drink ginger ale all the time, though. There are fluids with electrolytes like sports drinks that you can drink to get your blood sugar up as well. Remember that not drinking enough water or other fluids can cause other pregnancy symptoms like swollen feet and limbs.
- Snacks, treats, and other things to chew on
You can chew or suck on candies, cough drops, gum or other treats to help with morning sickness and with reducing your saliva. Little, hard, individually wrapped candies are great because you can have them in your purse or pocket ready to go if you suddenly get an episode of heavy drooling.
I also loved chewing on ice- still do. It’s probably pretty bad for your teeth though, so make sure the ice is soft enough not to send you to the dentist as well.
- Toothpaste and mouthwash
Speaking of the dentist, maybe your saliva issues are teeth related? Don’t get offended, I’m sure you don’t have problems remembering to brush. It’s just that there are a lot of pregnant women who experience mouth and dental problems. Some healthcare prenatal plans even account for regular dental checkups and pay for filling cavities because it’s so common for pregnant women to have toothaches. It is very likely from vomiting food up constantly and slowly eroding your teeth. Yuck.
One thing that can help with the dental problems and the frequent drooling is brushing your teeth more often than you normally would when you aren’t pregnant. Use a tasty toothpaste and rinse with a fresh-smelling and tasting mouthwash as well to make this more pleasant. I’d definitely go for some travel toothpaste and toothbrush stored in your purse if you find that this method helps you get rid of the saliva best.
Can I Prevent Excess Saliva During Pregnancy?
The best way to prevent getting excess saliva during pregnancy is to eat foods that promote good digestive health and function. These foods will make you less likely to get stomach sick or have all the digestive problems and bowel symptoms we mentioned before.
Here are a few foods that will improve digestive health:
- Raw fruits (fruit, organic smoothies)
- Raw vegetables (veggie trays, salads)
- Foods that give probiotic support to your diet like yogurt, kombucha, kefir, or pickled vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi
These are foods that are filled with nutritional enzymes that break down food during digestion. Probiotics have digestive enzymes that help keep your stomach and gut flora healthy so you won’t get sick. Those are great for curing constipation, diarrhea, or other lower abdominal symptoms during pregnancy.
Some digestive enzymes even begin breaking down food in the mouth and the saliva, before food even gets to the stomach! This is why it’s especially important to chew your food all the way. Raw fruits and vegetables have nutritional enzymes that work in the body most easily if they have been chewed up first.
So, chew first, then swallow- just like you would teach your expected arrival. The body then can absorb those nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and make you and your baby healthier as well!
How Long Does Excessive Salivating Typically Last In Pregnancy?
It’s hard to say exactly how long all the drooling will last during pregnancy. The only absolute cure is having the baby. Usually, however, the symptoms will ease up after the first trimester. After the first trimester is also when morning sickness usually eases up as well, and most of the time the saliva production is connected to stomach sickness.
Elsevier, Ptyalism in pregnancy – a review of epidemiology and practices, March 2016.
National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, Ptyalism gravidarum, November 2009.
- Heathryn Salvia