excess saliva in pregnancy

Yes, you read right. Excess saliva in pregnancy can be one of the side effects of you carrying a baby. It is one of the uncommon pregnancy symptoms, but, however rare, it can get very annoying.


Pregnancy is a beautiful and magical moment in a woman’s life, full of new and exciting (but also scary) feelings and changes. However, not everything in it is good, as you probably know at this point. There are countless of annoying symptoms, most of them caused at least in part by pregnancy hormones. No one said being a mummy was easy, and it is challenging from the very beginning.

But let’s talk now about drooling in pregnancy! Even if it’s not a usual symptom, maybe knowing that you are not the only future mummy who has to deal with excess saliva in pregnancy will be of some consolation. 


Excess saliva in pregnancy: Why does it happen?

At first, you may have thought that this drooling was due to morning sickness. In fact, it may have even made the nausea worse – after all, nobody likes to feel like a dog with its tongue out! Well, you are not entirely wrong, since they are related even if there isn’t a direct relation of cause-effect between them. Most of the time, it is a side effect of pregnancy of women who also suffer from morning sickness, and it is especially common in those who suffer from a serious form of it called hyperemesis gravidarum. 

Drooling in pregnancy is also related with gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn), since the acids of the stomach coming up the oesophagus may also provoke that your salivation glands work harder. 

Excess saliva in pregnancy, also called sialorrhea or ptyalism, is said to be caused by pregnancy hormones affecting our salivation glands. Actually, experts in the matter haven’t been able to determine the exact cause, but pregnancy hormones are to blame in these cases, since they are, after all, responsible from the changes our body experiences during pregnancy. Don’t feel too bitter towards them, though, since it is also thanks to them that we get our beautiful babies!


Excess saliva in pregnancy: Getting some relief

Yes, there is not much you can do about it, but still, there are some things you can do to feel less disgusted about your own saliva. Try the following tried-and-tested tips:

  1. Brush your teeth with min-flavoured toothpaste. That, of course, if mint isn’t one of the food or smell aversions you’re experiencing, which isn’t all that uncommon!

  2. Use mouthwash. It may help you have a better taste in your mouth.

  3. Water, your best ally. As always, being hydrated is one of the best things you can do. No, the drooling doesn’t mean that you’re hydrated enough, and it is not like sweat or pee: drinking more water won’t make you salivate more, but the opposite.

  4. Chew, chew, chew: Have you ever noticed that chewing gum makes your mouth drier sometimes? This applies in the case of excess saliva in pregnancy as well, so chewing gum will help. Make sure to chew on sugar free gums, though!

Since excess saliva in pregnancy is somewhat related to morning sickness, some of the tips to ease the latter can also be of help. Try having small meals and avoid foods with a high starch content. It may be of help!


Excess saliva in pregnancy: When to worry 

If you notice this pregnancy symptom, let your doctor know even if it’s more of an annoyance than a complication. Besides, he or she may be able to give you more tips on how to relieve it, as well as to find an underlying cause that you didn’t notice, such as, maybe, cavities or heartburn. 

But there are some cases when you must call your doctor or midwife immediately, that is, if the drooling comes together with very bad nausea or vomits. In that case, it is possible that you are suffering from that severe form of morning sickness we mentioned above, hyperemesis gravidarum. This is a condition that needs to be treated, because too much vomiting could result in dehydration – something dangerous for both you and your baby.


However, most times the drooling just comes as an annoyance and, as you can see, there are ways to make excess saliva in pregnancy better. Drooling isn’t fun (not for you, at least!), but, after all, it is quite a harmless side effect of pregnancy.