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Saliva and ptyalism - hypersalivation in pregnancy

Ptyalism is a condition which causes excess saliva. It is also known as hypersalivation or sialorrhea and frequently affects women in the early stages of pregnancy

It is fairly common for pregnant women to produce more saliva than they do normally, especially early on in pregnancy. This article discusses the causes and forms of treatment. 

Some women may experience excessive saliva, known as ptyalism, hypersalivation or sialorrhea. This is especially likely if you are also suffering from frequent or severe nausea and vomiting.

There is no single cure or guaranteed treatment for ptyalism. But you may be able to ease symptoms of hypersalivation by:

  • trying to eat smaller but more frequent meals,
  • brushing your teeth and using mouthwash several times a day,
  • chewing sugarless gum or sucking on hard sweets and/or
  • taking frequent, small sips of water.

Any strategies that help you reduce nausea may also help with ptyalism.

Further information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

NHS choices offers information on complications of morning sickness