Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy. Its main cause is when the body can’t sufficiently provide a good amount of insulin to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose, and glucose intolerance occurs. This decreased ability of the body to maintain the normal amount of blood sugar enhances during pregnancy, and it’s regarded as the pre-diabetic stage. Of course, one very common symptom of gestational diabetes is dry mouth, just like normal diabetes. However, having dry mouth while pregnant does not mean you have gestational diabetes.
Having a dry mouth is very normal during pregnancy. Your changing hormones and enhanced need for water in the body due to another body growing inside of you may lead to dryness of the mouth. For this reason, regularly brushing your teeth is important because dry mouth during pregnancy can often cause oral health issues like infections, tooth decay, bad breath, or hypersensitivity.
In addition, floss regularly to get rid of brown or black spots, stop bacterial growth, and prevent tooth decay. Use mouthwash specifically to treat any tooth disorders. Although dry mouth itself is not a disease, it is a concerning situation as sometimes it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition that needs treatment.
Why Is My Mouth So Dry During Pregnancy?
There could be many underlying causes of dry mouth during pregnancy. The most common causes experienced among pregnant women are:
During pregnancy, your body needs more water, just like you have other additional nutritional needs. Not only this, but the body loses water fast as the bladder is overburdened due to fetal growth.
Other symptoms experienced among pregnant women due to severe dehydration in addition to dry mouth are:
- Dark yellow urine
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Constant headache
Distorted sleep cycle:
A disrupted sleep cycle leads to more problems during pregnancy other than just a dry mouth. However, dry mouth during pregnancy is one of the earliest signs that you are not getting enough sleep. Pregnancy brings about sleep changes like over tiredness, sleep apnea, and snoring. This can lead to pregnancy dry mouth, especially at night when you snore or sleep with an open mouth.
As already discussed, gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy. In the US, one out of ten pregnant women get gestational diabetes. It can lead to enhanced blood sugar levels and dry mouth during pregnancy. High blood sugar can also cause an increased urge to urinate, which further leads to severe dehydration and pregnancy dry mouth.
Thrush is characterized by the growth of cottage cheese like lesions inside your mouth, on the areas of the tongue and cheeks. It occurs due to the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida albicans which leads to redness and mouth sores. Women with weak immune systems are more prone to developing thrush.
When Does Dry Mouth Start In Pregnancy?
The development and treatment of dry moth during pregnancy depends on your diet. It can occur at various points during pregnancy. In most of the cases, it starts developing around 9 weeks. Women report that if they choose to treat it with medication, the issue gets resolved around 14 weeks, but sometimes it may persist longer.
Is It Normal To Experience Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
It’s completely normal to have a dry mouth during pregnancy. As your body goes through many physical, behavioral, and hormonal changes, dry mouth is just another symptom.
During pregnancy, water requirements of the body increase as the baby is developing. Additionally, changing hormones have an impact on oral health, which can also cause dry mouth.
Other than dry mouth symptoms, some other issues can arise due to these body changes like;
- Sore throat
- Dryness inside the nose
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Feel pain while uttering words
Why Do I Have Dry Mouth At Night While Pregnant?
During pregnancy, the fetus requires a great deal of water to develop. Therefore, dry mouth is often a side effect of pregnancy. Some women get frustrated due to dry mouth and constant urge to urinate as it decreases their quality of life. However, it’s one of the signs that your baby is growing and developing.
If you are concerned you may be developing gestational diabetes, consult a doctor for treatment. Your doctor may suggest you:
- Change your medications or multivitamins.
- Suggest anti-fungal medications to treat thrush.
- Check you for gestational diabetes or the potential risk of developing it.
- Suggest you treat your distorted sleep habits or give you sleep medications to treat sleep apnea.
Dry mouth often leads to tooth decay. So to prevent tooth decay, some doctors suggest wearing fluoride trays at night.
If your dry mouth is due to gestational diabetes, your physician will likely suggest a healthy diet plan and other measures to keep it in control.
Is Dry Mouth A Symptom Of Gestational Diabetes?
There are many symptoms associated with gestational diabetes, but one of the most common is dry mouth and increased urination. The reason is glucose intolerance as a result of low insulin production. These low levels of insulin can cause a build-up of high blood sugar.
High sugar content is a source of bacterial growth, kidney issues, and hypertension. It is necessary to maintain an appropriate glucose level in the blood because enhanced levels are hazardous to the health for the mother as well as the developing fetus.
When Should I Worry About Thirst During Pregnancy?
Excessive thirst and dry mouth during pregnancy are normal. It may only be the result of enhanced water requirements due to your growing baby. However, the condition may get worse in the case of gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes usually starts around the 24th week of pregnancy. If you experience the following symptoms, take the condition seriously and consult a doctor for immediate treatment.
- Extreme urges to urinate
- Extreme dry mouth with lesions and redness
- Excessive thirst and extremely high fluid intake that the bladder can’t handle
- Blurred vision with dizziness, fatigue, and anxiety
- Extremely unusual cravings for sweet foods and desserts
- Feeling nausea right after eating something
How Do I Get Rid Of Thirst During Pregnancy?
Setting a proper routine of eating and water intake habits makes it easier to keep the mouth moist and thirst under control. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep track of water intake
- Calculate the ounces you need to drink every day so you don’t cut down on the daily fluid intake
- Chewing sugar free gum, candies, or ice chips
How Long Does Dry Mouth Last?
If you follow some home remedies and set a healthy diet routine, your dry mouth probably won’t last long. After pregnancy, your hormonal levels will balance out, and your dry mouth should go away.
What Helps Dry Mouth During Pregnancy?
Some home remedies can help you get rid of excessive thirst and relieve dry mouth issues.
Cutting Out Sugar
Cutting your sugar intake may work like magic. Less sugar in your blood will lead to a decrease in dry mouth symptoms.
Keeping Your Mouth Moist
If you face the issue of longer periods of dry mouth, try to keep your mouth moist to prevent lesions and tooth decay, as well. For this, you can try;
- Chewing sugar free gum. Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva flow which keeps the mouth moist.
- Using ice chips. Ice chips are a great treat for pregnancy cravings as well as keeping your mouth moist.
- Keeping a sugar free candy in your mouth helps saliva production.
- Drinking water at regular intervals to prevent water loss and dry mouth.
- Using a humidifier at night so you don’t wake up with a dry throat.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
Use an antibacterial mouthwash to practice good oral health. It helps prevent the build-up of bacteria, tooth decay, and mouth sores.
What Are The Symptoms of Dehydration During Pregnancy?
Some of the most common symptoms associated with decreased water intake or a dehydrated body are:
- Dark yellow urine
- Less urge to urinate
- Dry throat
- Tingling sensation in the throat while talking
- Dry skin and hair
- Constipation and hard feces
- Dizziness and mental confusion
How Much Water Should A Pregnant Woman Drink?
Medical practitioners suggest pregnant women drink 8 to 12 cups of water every day for minimal dehydration and pregnancy dry mouth issues.
This amount of water is enough to nourish the amniotic fluid within the amniotic sac, which is nourishing the baby.
Changing hormones during pregnancy may cause changes in dietary and water intake habits, and low fluid intake can lead to excessive thirst and dry mouth symptoms. There are relatively easy ways to address dry mouth during pregnancy, including being more mindful of your water intake and chewing gum or eating sugar free hard candy. If you give them a try and continue to suffer from dry mouth, consult a doctor for proper check-ups and treatment.