Pregnancy is a phase of your life filled with surprises, some good and others not so exciting. You will be amazed at how your body gradually changes to make space for the little one inside the womb. That internal change leads to certain external effects that may not be too comfortable always. For instance, many women experience bad breath during pregnancy. Though completely harmless, it can be quite embarrassing and annoying. Read on to know what causes bad breath during pregnancy, what are its symptoms and how can you treat it.
bad breath during pregnancy

  • Causes Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy
  • Symptoms Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy
  • How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy?

Causes Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is nothing but sulphur that is produced when bacteria comes in contact with food particles. This is accelerated during pregnancy, thanks to the fluctuating hormonal levels as the fetus grows. Some of the common causes of bad breath during pregnancy are:

  • Hormonal changes: Changing levels of hormones like progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy escalate the formation of plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that produce sulfur and could at times even cause gingivitis or inflammation of the gums during pregnancy
  • Dehydration: If you don’t drink enough water, you could be dehydrated. This could affect the saliva levels and leave your mouth dry, a condition known as Xerostomia. Unless you consciously make a habit of keeping yourself hydrated, the saliva will not wash away leftover food particles and odor emitting bacteria. This in turn could make your breath smell foul
  • Morning sickness malady: Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy which leads to nausea and vomiting thus causing bad breath. Also the foul smell of acids in stomach and foods that are partially digested tend to remain in the mouth contributing to bad breath
  • Calcium deficiency: Doctors recommend calcium supplements and advise you to eat calcium rich foods as your pregnancy advances to support you and to help your baby develop strong bones and teeth. If your calcium intake is insufficient, your body may use it from your teeth, causing them to deteriorate. This naturally affects the breath
  • Food habits and Slow digestion: Eating onion and garlic raw, change in your eating habits, untimely eating, eating sugary snacks, all could in their own way contribute to the bad breath that you might be experiencing. Added to this is the slow digestion that builds up gas and causes burping which could also be the culprit
  • Health issues: Health problems such as diabetes, kidney problems, sinusitis and throat infections could also increase the risk of bad breath

Symptoms Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy

It is very common to have bad breath and be unaware of it. You can be suffering from bad breath problem or are at a risk of developing one during pregnancy if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • If your tongue has a thick coating
  • There is a bitter taste in your mouth
  • If you have dry mouth
  • If there is any discomfort in your throat
  • If there is plaque buildup

pregnant woman brushing

How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath During Pregnancy?

Some of the ways to get rid of bad breath during pregnancy are:

  • Maintain good oral Hygiene: Whether pregnant or not, the best way to keep bad breath away is to follow good oral hygiene. Take care to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and if required after every meal. Do not brush too hard as it may wear away the enamel, causing tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with salt water/ lemon juice every day to keep bad breath at bay. Remember, dental problems and gum diseases can affect the fetus as well
  • Visit the dentist regularly: Just to be extra sure, visit the dentist regularly to ensure that you have no dental problems. Make sure to get a complete checkup early to avoid any complications later
  • Go for foods rich in Calcium: To prevent dentals problems, it is a good idea to eat calcium rich foods during pregnancy. Milk and its products must be part of the daily diet. You might also want to include calcium supplements; consult your doctor and go ahead
  • Avoid Foods with strong odor: It’s better to avoid foods that have strong smell like onion, garlic and spicy foods that aggravate bad breath. Cut down on tea and coffee intake and if you must, rinse your mouth well after drinking. It’s a good idea to carry mints and lemon candies when you have to socialize to avoid embarrassment. You could also chew gum after meals that remove bacterial accumulation and increase saliva production
  • Always stay hydrated: It’s better to drink lots of water to prevent dehydration, which is one of the causes of bad breath. Moreover, water enhances saliva production, which keeps bacteria away

During pregnancy, women are so occupied with their diet and wellness that oral problems are almost sidelined. Dental well-being is very important too during those nine months and it is better to go for a complete checkup when you are planning to have a baby to avoid any complications later. Consult your doctor about oral care and stay safe as you prepare yourself for the most wonderful phase of your life.
Did you develop bad breath during pregnancy? In what way did you manage the problem? Please don’t forget to leave your experience in the comments section below.