#69 Excess Saliva in Pregnancy

Some women experience excessive salivation during pregnancy, which is called ptyalism gravidarum or sialorrhea gravidarum. It most often appears in the first trimester of pregnancy, beginning as soon as two or three weeks after conception and it can taste bitter.

Salivation is normal both in the pregnant and in the non-pregnant state. Excess salivation is most common in the first trimester beginning as soon as two or three weeks after conception and ending about 12 or 13 weeks into pregnancy. In your second and third trimester, your saliva should become more normal.

Saliva in pregnancy is usually thicker than when you’re not pregnant. Since excess saliva production can sometimes be related to a decaying tooth or other mouth infections, you might want to visit a dentist to have your teeth checked.

Managing increased amounts of saliva during pregnancy requires managing nausea and heartburn, two causes of excess saliva production during pregnancy. For more information on how to manage nausea and heartburn, see my blog post on morning sickness. I also have a blog post on what to eat when you’re pregnant.

Although saliva production usually increases in pregnancy, you might start your pregnancy with foamy, white saliva. This is usually due to dry mouth, or too little saliva, which can be due to medications.

You can’t reduce saliva production during pregnancy, but it does get less troublesome around the end of the first trimester. And you can try to live with it. Here are some suggestions. This might sound silly, but you can spit so much that you lose too many electrolytes. So, although you will want to carry tissues along, try to use them as a last resort, and then only for spit that drips from your mouth. You might consider mint flavored mouthwash, sucking on ice, or chewing sugarless gum. At any rate, your excess saliva problems should be over in 12 to 13 weeks.