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Ptyalism (excessive saliva)

Saliva is produced in salivary glands to help the body ingest food. These glands normally produce about a quart of saliva each day, although most people don't notice it as they swallow.

The fluid helps lubricate the mouth when eating, and contains enzymesA protein produced by the body's cells which catalyzes chemical reactions in organic matter. While most enzymes catalyze reactions within cells, digestive enzymes, which are produced in much larger quantities, act outside of cells within the digestive tract.
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that help break down the food before it is swallowed. Saliva includes bicarbonate, an alkaline that helps protect the stomach from the acids produced in the digestive tract, and proteins that have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Causes of ptyalism

Why some women suffer from excessive saliva production, a condition called ptyalism, during pregnancy is still unknown. Nausea and vomiting causes many people to reduce the amount of saliva they swallow allowing more fluid to collect in the mouth. Many experts are still unsure whether the symptoms of excessive saliva during pregnancy are the result of increased production, a decrease in the amount swallowed, or some combination of the two.

Studies have shown that people with heartburn trigger extra saliva production as the gastric acid irritates the esophagusA muscular tube lined with mucus membrane about 9 inches (24 cm) long, which leads from the neck to the stomach. It is the narrowest part of the digestive tube, being most constricted at its origin.
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, to coat the lining of the wind pipe with neutralizing alkaline. The glands also increase production after vomiting, and both of these conditions are common pregnancy complaints.

Women who experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, have been found to suffer from excessive saliva production. It is still unknown whether hormonal changes during pregnancy contribute to excessive saliva production.

Incidence of ptyalism

Excessive saliva tends to occur when you are suffering from nausea or heartburn, and most women find that the symptoms are reduced by the end of the first trimester. But like nausea, the condition may persist throughout pregnancy for some women. The symptoms tend to disappear after delivery of the baby.

Relieving symptoms of ptyalism

If you are suffering from excessive saliva production during pregnancy try and reduce the incidence of heartburn, vomiting and nausea. Eat several small meals, including one in bed about fifteen minutes before you get up in the morning. Brush your teeth and use mouthwash after every meal.

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Make sure that you maintain your intake of fluid: at least eight glasses daily is recommended. Some women report that sucking on a hard candy helps them swallow the excess saliva produced. Avoid sour candies, which will increase the amount of saliva produced.

Preventing ptyalism

The best thing you can do is just swallow the excess saliva your glands produce. But some women find that this increases their nausea, and they tend to spit it out. If you cannot cope with the extra saliva your body produces, you should drink plenty of fluid to prevent dehydration.

Talk to your doctor about different medications you can try. Most doctors recommend the scopolamine patch, or Transderm Scop?, which reduces the feelings of nausea and causes dry mouth. Some doctors will try antihistamines, but this may cause you to feel even more fatigued during this tiring stage of your pregnancy.


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Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@babypartner.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.