Why Do I Have a Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?

If you’re pregnant, you don’t need us telling you that your body is going through some dramatic changes.

Every day, something new seems to crop up, whether it’s the onset of morning sickness, feeling unusually cold during pregnancy, fighting with your partner, or an inexplicably dry mouth.

With your hormones all over the place, a dry mouth is a very common symptom of pregnancy. As those hormones play havoc with your oral health, your body also stores more water than normal to cope with a swelling blood volume.

On the one hand, having a dry mouth is remarkably uncomfortable, but it can also have a more severe impact since bacteria can build up more readily in your mouth.

What should you look out for beyond the obvious dryness in your mouth itself?

Symptoms of Dry Mouth During Pregnancy

Stay vigilant if you notice any of the following signs over and above a dryness in your mouth:

  • Altered tastes.
  • Burning inside the throat or mouth.
  • Constant sore throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Dryness inside the nose.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Trouble speaking.

If that looks like a lengthy list, you might be asking yourself what causes your mouth to become so dry during pregnancy.

4 Main Causes of Dry Mouth During Pregnancy

We’ll look now at 4 of the leading causes of a dry mouth during pregnancy:

dry mouth pregnancy green mug
  1. Dehydration
  2. Thrush
  3. Sleep Issues
  4. Gestational Diabetes

Dehydration

Before doubling down on any more serious causes, it’s worth making sure you’re adequately hydrated. Dehydration is the most common reason for a dry mouth.

Clinical dehydration sets in when your body is losing water at a higher rate than it’s absorbing it. This is not ideal at the best of times, but when you have a growing baby developing inside you, staying on top of hydration is doubly important.

If you remain consistently dehydrated while pregnant, you could end up with birth defects or premature labour. We can’t emphasize strongly enough the importance of drinking a bare minimum of 2 litres of water daily.

Aside from a dry mouth, if you notice your urine is dark yellow, you’re feeling overheated, extremely thirsty, tired, or dizzy, there’s every chance you’re dehydrated. Addressing this issue can clear up that dry mouth, while also doing you and your baby a great deal of good.

Thrush

Everyone has the thrush fungus, Candida albicans, in small amounts. If your immune system is not firing on all cylinders, though, this can grow beyond the normal healthy range with a dry mouth being one of the primary symptoms.

If you spot any white lesions on your tongue or cheek, redness or soreness in your mouth to accompany that dry feeling, or any loss of sensation taste-wise, it’s worth booking an appointment with your healthcare provider. Thrush could quite possibly be the reason you’re experiencing that annoying dry mouth.

Sleep Issues

As your hormones undergo changes, your nasal and throat passages can narrow, bringing about breathing issues that can impact your sleep.

Snoring is much more common during the second and third trimesters. When you breathe with your mouth open as you sleep, your body also finds it more difficult to produce saliva.

In the worst scenario, this can cause sleep apnoea, so you should speak with your healthcare provider if your sleep disturbance is accompanied by a dry mouth. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Gestational Diabetes

This form of diabetes only occurs during pregnancy, as the name makes clear. It crops up because your body needs more insulin when you’re pregnant but is sometimes unable to make it.

Gestational diabetes can create problems for you and the baby but comes with very few symptoms. If, however, you have a dry mouth accompanied by excessive thirst, fatigue and the need to pee more often than normal, speak with your doctor to rule out gestational diabetes.

What To Do If You Have a Dry Mouth During Pregnancy

Depending on the root cause of your dry mouth, home remedies are usually more than enough to get rid of that parched feeling.

Here are some handy hints to restore the moisture you crave:

  • Suck some ice chips. The bonus is that they can also reduce any feelings of nausea you might be experiencing.
  • Chew some sugar-free gum or snack on some sugar-free candy.
  • Focus on drinking as much water as possible.
  • Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom overnight.
  • Cut down on caffeine as much as possible.
  • Pay close attention to oral hygiene.

With any luck, you’ll get rid of that dry mouth in no time!

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