Pregnancy causes multiple changes in the body that can affect the mouth and cause dryness. The body also uses more water during pregnancy, which may lead to dry mouth.
This article examines dry mouth during pregnancy, its possible causes, when to seek help, and more.
Dry mouth is one of the
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), hormonal changes during pregnancy may cause dry mouth.
Dry mouth in pregnancy can be a typical symptom, and home remedies
However, in some cases, dry mouth may indicate an underlying condition such as thrush, sleep apnea, or gestational diabetes.
Some possible causes of dry mouth during pregnancy include the following:
People require more water during pregnancy, and not getting enough fluids may lead to dehydration.
Nausea during pregnancy may make it more difficult for people to drink water, and morning sickness can also lead to a loss of fluids.
Dehydration may cause a dry mouth. Other symptoms of dehydration can include:
- dark colored urine
- producing little urine or being unable to urinate
- feeling faint or dizzy when standing up
- being unable to keep down liquids
- a racing or pounding heartbeat
Oral thrush occurs due to an overgrowth of Candida, a type of fungus.
According to a
Symptoms of oral thrush include:
- dry mouth, or a cotton-like feeling in the mouth
- white patches on the tongue and inside of the mouth
- redness or soreness of the mouth
- cracked corners of the mouth
- loss of taste
- pain during eating or swallowing
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs in pregnancy. People with gestational diabetes have blood sugar levels that are too high.
Dry mouth may worsen at night, as the production of saliva drops during sleep. Breathing through the mouth when sleeping can also worsen dry mouth.
People with sleep apnea may be
People may be able to treat dry mouth with home remedies,
- aiming to drink 8–12 cups of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration
- sipping water when eating to help make it easier to chew and swallow food
- chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candy to stimulate saliva flow
- avoiding caffeine and tobacco, which can be drying to the mouth
- avoiding spicy or salty foods, as these may be painful to eat with a dry mouth
- using a humidifier when sleeping
- maintaining good oral hygiene, which can help relieve dry mouth and prevent complications such as cavities
With an underlying condition
If an underlying condition is causing dry mouth, treatment may include:
- managing gestational diabetes through healthy eating, regular physical activity, and monitoring blood sugar
- taking antifungal medication for oral thrush
- altering diet and eating habits to manage nausea and vomiting
- practicing good sleep hygiene or receiving sleep apnea treatment, such as using continuous positive airway pressure therapy
People can see a doctor if dry mouth persists. A doctor can check for any underlying causes.
Getting prompt treatment for underlying conditions such as gestational diabetes
This section answers some common questions about dry mouth and pregnancy.
When does dry mouth start in pregnancy?
A dry mouth may develop at various points in pregnancy, depending on the cause:
- Nausea and vomiting: People may begin to experience symptoms before 9 weeks of pregnancy. Symptoms may resolve by 14 weeks or continue for weeks or months, possibly throughout the whole pregnancy.
- Gestational diabetes: This condition usually develops around
24 weeksof pregnancy. Any related oral symptoms may develop around this time.
- Oral thrush: This may be
more likelyto occur in the first or third trimester due to an increase in oral yeast at these times.
- Sleep issues: These
commonly occurafter the first trimester of pregnancy. Some sleep problems may cause symptoms such as dry mouth.
Is dry mouth a symptom of gestational diabetes?
According to the ADA, dry mouth can be a symptom of diabetes, particularly with unmanaged diabetes.
Gestational diabetes may also cause people to feel increased thirst and urinate more frequently than usual. Doctors will test anyone who is pregnant for gestational diabetes at