Excess Salivation during Pregnancy | Reduce Excessive Salivation

Question: I am 8 weeks pregnant and cannot stop spitting. I wake up several times during the night because I have to spit. It’s hard to have a conversation without my mouth filling up with water, and I rarely get sick in the morning. How can I stop it completely?

Answer: Excessive salivation is referred to as “Ptylism” and is a common feature of pregnancy. Nothing special needs to be done to manage this problem. It is not a disorder, but a consequence of pregnancy. Don’t worry.

Causes of Ptylism during pregnancy

  • Excessive salivation occurs during the first and the third trimester of pregnancy.
    However it may occur across pregnancy. It is attributed to the rapid hormonal alterations and changes taking place.
  • Pregnancy is also associated with heart burns. As the uterine size increases, it puts pressure on abdominal organs including the stomach. This in turn pushes the contents of the stomach up into the esophagus.
  • The esophagus contains acid sensors, with get stimulated due to the regurgitation and triggers the salivary glands to secrete saliva (which is alkaline), to neutralize the effect of stomach acids.

Treatment for Excessive Salivation

  • Simply, accept that excessive salivation is a side effect of being pregnant.
    Swallow or spit out the excess saliva.
  • If it is due to heart burn you can try using antacids, which will reduce heart burns.
  • Eat small quantities of food at frequent intervals. Avoid eating late at night.
  • Drinking cold milk will help reduce the acidity (as milk is alkaline). This will indirectly reduce excessive salivation.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated. Dehydration can also lead to Ptylism.

13 Comments

  1. dawn said:

    I’m now 15 weeks pregnant, I had the saliva problem since week 5, and I understand there is no cure for the problem.My worry is going through the whole 9 months with the problem.I do not vomit, only there is ptylism.

    March 29, 2010
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      This symptom is very commonly faced in pregnant women. Excessive salivation is present in some women, in other it is less. Do not worry as it is harmless, it is also known as ptylism. This is caused due to the hormonal changes in pregnancy.
      As the uterus size increases, the acid contents of the stomach are pushed above, resulting in increase salivation.
      To get relief of these trouble simple tips may help;
      – Take some antacids if there is hyper acidity.
      – Avoid eating late at night, and do not lie down immediately after eating.
      – Sucking candies are helpful in reducing ptylism.
      – Lastly, accept it as a consequence of pregnancy for a short period.

      April 2, 2010
      Reply
    • Anonymous said:

      I am also 15 weeks pregnant and my spitting is uncontrollable. I chewed sugar free gum, and it worked for a while, but then it seems like my body got used to it, and it doesn’t work anymore. I used the dry coffee under my tongue, and that stopped it for a short while, and then I am back to square one. I am worried that it might continue throughout my whole pregnancy, and this is very uncomfortable and disgusting.

      April 4, 2010
      Reply
      • PUP said:

        Excessive salivation in medical term is also known as ptylism.
        Ptylism is normal complaint in pregnancy. It is present in first trimester and third trimester of pregnancy. But ptylism can be present for the whole pregnancy period.
        The cause can be due to rapid hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy.
        As the uterus increases in the size, it presses against stomach, which pushes the gastric acid to the esophagus, resulting in excessive salivation.
        To get relief from ptylism during pregnancy, following things will help.
        Eat small meals at frequent intervals.
        Drink milk, it lowers the acid content of the stomach.
        The best thing is to ignore such indisposition or inconvenience.

        April 23, 2010
        Reply
  2. V N said:

    Ice chips works for me. And after I’ve chewed quite a few, even when I stop, the spitting slows down for a few mins, but eventually starts back. Also, peppermint and other candy seem to help, but can also make it worse when you stop eating it. I’m 25 wks, 2 days pregnant and I’ve had the problem for a couple of months. It started at the end of my terrible 2.5 month bout with hyper emesis.

    August 10, 2010
    Reply
  3. sk said:

    I am at 17 weeks pregnant and have had this condition since week 5. It’s quite depressing as none of the remedies I’ve tried seem to help. A colleague who is a former nurse said that Pregnisol, which is a prescription for morning sickness cured her ptyalism but my doctor had never heard of it and he refuses to give me any drugs for this. So, I continue carrying around my Kleenex and excusing myself periodically from meetings at work. Thoughts of my baby help me to forget sometimes. Good luck, everyone! Remember, there is an end in sight!

    November 5, 2010
    Reply
  4. MSB said:

    Need help!! I have been spotting since I found out I was pregnant! I am only 17wks and I don’t think I can take it anymore more. Sugarless gum does not work, I can’t sleep at night. Can anyone provide me with info on this, because if I am not gross everyone around me out, I’m grossing myself out. Need help desperately.

    November 8, 2010
    Reply
  5. R J said:

    I am 8 weeks pregnant and have been suffering terribly from both extreme sickness (morning – HA – try all freaking day and night) and excessive saliva. I have to carry cups and/or bowls with me to spit into wherever I go and can barely sleep at night. I’m take B6 supplements but am not getting much relief at all 🙁 This is my second pregnancy and if it is anything like my first this is not going to end for 7 more months 🙁

    November 19, 2010
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      The symptom of excessive salivation is common during pregnancy for many women.
      It is generally present during first three months and last three months of pregnancy.
      You can follow certain tips to get relief from excessive salivation:
      – Drink milk to neutralize acid secretion.
      – Sucking candies can help to decrease salivation.
      – Frequently eat small meals. Do not overload your stomach at one go.
      – Accept it as a pregnancy problem for rest of the period in a graceful manner.

      November 25, 2010
      Reply
  6. T R said:

    I’m 8 weeks pregnant and have had a terrible spitting problem for 2 weeks now. It’s driving me crazy! Everywhere I go I’m constantly spitting. It’s very frustrating! And don’t get much sleep at night. I just seriously don’t know what to do 🙁

    January 4, 2011
    Reply
  7. W A said:

    This is my second pregnancy in 11 years, and during both of them, I spit excessively. This is very aggravating as it prevents me from getting decent sleep and it leaves my sheets and pillows full of saliva which means I have to wash them more frequently. Aside from that, my husband no longer drinks out of the same cup, and now kisses me on the cheek instead of the lips. (WHO COULD BLAME HIM)? Anyways, what seems to help me is firstly staying away from sweets and foods that are considered dairy products. Dairy products create mucus which intensify the saliva. Also dairy products digest slower which produces more saliva. Eating boiled eggs (with salt/pepper), drinking water after eating, and brushing regularly will lessen the saliva and reduces the nasty taste that constantly stays in your mouth.

    Again: no sweets, eat boiled eggs (2 per serving), brush after every meal, and drink water regularly to rinse your tongue.

    January 4, 2011
    Reply
  8. T B said:

    I am a 31 year old female that had this spitting problem in 1998 when I had my first son, after he was born the spitting stopped. Four years later the spitting started again when I got pregnant with my daughter, and after that I had spitting continued and has not stopped, I have not been pregnant in 8 years and I am still spitting.

    January 6, 2011
    Reply
  9. K W said:

    Last year when I was pregnant I couldn’t stop spitting the whole time. I’m pregnant again and I’ve been using lemons and that’s been a great relief! So try the sour foods and candies they help! Good luck ladies

    January 15, 2011
    Reply

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