Many pregnant women’s mouths are drier than normal during pregnancy. Is it normal to experience xerostomia during this period?
During pregnancy many changes occur in women’s health. Some pregnant women experience dry mouth and other oral conditions such as gum inflammation (gingival inflammation), periodontal disease, tumors or pregnancy granulomas (gum cysts).
Dry mouth during pregnancy is known as physiological xerostomia, and it’s caused by hormonal changes. Dry mouth is a common issue during pregnancy but it is temporary and nothing to be worried about, so long as a good oral hygiene is maintained.
In cases of mild dryness, dry mouth can be improved by drinking water, or sucking on sugarless candies or chewing gum. For pregnant women with previous xerostomia, dry mouth may worsen and they may need to use dry mouth specific products like toothpaste, mouthwashes or moisturizer gels in order to manage their condition.
If dry mouth is continuous and accompanied by a constant thirst and frequent urination, pregnant women may be suffering from gestational diabetes, which is a very common condition during pregnancy and can be easily controlled with proper treatment.
It should be noted that in very rare cases, pregnant women can suffer from abnormal and excessive secretion of saliva (ptyalism / drooling) starting at two or three weeks in to the pregnancy.
75% of women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester). This can cause tooth enamel erosion (perimilolisis), leaving the teeth more vulnerable to attacks from bacteria.
Moreover, in the last stage of pregnancy and during lactation the composition of the saliva changes (degree of acidity).
The combination of these three factors (dry mouth, erosion of tooth enamel caused by nausea or vomiting and changes in the composition of saliva) can cause tooth decay.
Therefore, during pregnancy women should take special care of their oral health and receive appropriate treatment to prevent the transmission of oral bacteria to the fetus.