Bad Breath During Pregnancy: Causes And How To Get Rid Of It

Bad Breath during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful experiences in your life that regrettably comes with some less-than-pleasant side effects. There is a clear correlation between pregnancy and poor breath, aside from normal concerns like morning sickness, exhaustion, and mood swings. Bad breath during pregnancy is mainly caused by bacteria in the mouth, it is even more vital than usual to look after your teeth and visit your dentist for complete cleaning and check-up during this time. 

The good news is that bad breath during early pregnancy can be avoided with appropriate oral care and an efficient mouthwash. There are several causes of bad breath during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and wondering how I can get rid of bad breath during pregnancy, here’s what to look out for and what to do about it.

Causes of bad breath during pregnancy?

Bad breath during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors. The following are some of the primary causes.

1. Hormonal shifts

Hormonal changes are vital for the success of your pregnancy. They may, however, take you on a thrilling ride! Hormone shifts can cause a slew of negative consequences. Among them are:

  • perspiration and a dry mouth are both signs of exhaustion.
  • a headache in the morning
  • A dry mouth can promote the growth of bacteria on the tongue and in the mouth, resulting in poor breath and an increased risk of dental cavities.

Morning sickness – nausea and vomiting — affects many pregnant women, especially in the first trimester. Vomiting can contribute to or exacerbate poor breath. Since you may not have much of an appetite to eat or drink, nausea might exacerbate dry mouth.

Both nausea and vomiting can dehydrate you, making your mouth dry and your breath foul.

2. Stuffy Nose

When you’re pregnant, you may feel like you’re constantly battling a cold or allergies. This is because increased blood flow in the body forces more fluids into blood vessels in the nose.

When the delicate veins in the nose get overfilled, they leak, resulting in a runny nose, also known as rhinitis. During pregnancy, the increased blood flow can also induce nosebleeds.

A runny or stuffy nose can cause nasal drip and mucus at the back of the throat. It can also result in infected or irritated sinuses (sinusitis). Both of these pregnant side effects might make your breath smell unpleasant.

A clogged or blocked nose may also compel you to breathe via your mouth, potentially exacerbating dry mouth and bad breath during pregnancy.

3. Bleeding Gums

Your gum health may suffer as a result of your body’s increased blood flow during pregnancy. Your gums may bleed more easily, particularly while brushing or flossing your teeth.

Gingivitis, or swollen gums, can also be exacerbated by pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, bleeding gums and gingivitis can create or aggravate foul breath.

Gingivitis affects up to 75% of pregnant women.

4. Tongue Infections

A fungal infection, such as thrush, can cause a swollen tongue and foul smell. Also, because the immune system is weakened during pregnancy, this infection is more prevalent.

Symptoms associated with bad breath during pregnancy

Other symptoms may accompany bad breath during pregnancy, depending on the underlying cause. These are some examples:

  • indigestion (from vomiting)
  • throat pain (from nasal drip and vomiting)
  • clogged or stuffy nose
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • sinuses that are sensitive
  • headache caused by sinuses
  • snoozing (sleep apnea)
  • phlegm (mucus) in the throat
  • gums that are red, swollen, or painful
  • bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
  • a persistent unpleasant taste in one’s mouth

How to treat bad breath during pregnancy

Changes in lifestyle, such as drinking more water and eating a well-balanced diet, can frequently help alleviate the symptoms of unpleasant breath. They’re also excellent for your general health and the wellness of your growing kid. Some other ways to treat bad breath in pregnancy include-

  1. Frequent Mouth Rinse: Rinse your nose and mouth with boiling and cooled sterile water daily to cure a runny nose and sensitive gums. It also helps to blow your nose softly throughout the day. To wet the air, use a humidifier while sleeping and inhale steam from a face steamer.
  2. Nasal Spray: Nasal saline sprays sold over the counter are safe to use throughout pregnancy and may help alleviate rhinitis and sinusitis. As a gargle, you can also use a homemade saltwater solution to cleanse the nose, thin mucus or phlegm, and soothe the throat.
  3. Mouthwash: Many conventional types of mouthwash just conceal the stench and include alcohol, which can dry out the mouth. As a result, certain mouthwashes may potentially cause more damage than good. A top-quality mouth rinse, such as this one, will not only assist to relieve dry mouth syndrome but will also aid to eliminate germs that cause bad breath.
  4. Calcium Supplements: Pregnant mothers must ensure that their growing baby gets all the nourishment it requires. While many women feel like they’re “eating for two,” it’s the minerals required by growing infants that might cause bad breath.
  • Babies require a large amount of calcium to construct their bones, especially during the third trimester, when roughly 80% of the calcium deposits are set down 
  • When calcium supplements are insufficient and the infant is fighting to get enough calcium, this mineral may occasionally be taken from the mother’s body. This demineralization can result in the weakening of teeth and, as a result, an elevated risk of tooth decay.

Antibiotics are unlikely to be prescribed during pregnancy unless you have a severe bacterial illness.

When is it necessary to consult a physician for bad breath during pregnancy?

Inform your doctor if you experience persistent bad breath, regardless of how many times you’ve brushed your teeth. Inform them of any other signs and symptoms.

You won’t be able to avoid all of the negative effects of pregnancy, but your doctor may prescribe remedies to help you feel better.

Make an appointment for a dental checkup if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant. Remember to inform your dentist that you are pregnant.

If at all feasible, discuss gum health with your dentist before being pregnant or during the early stages of your pregnancy. This way, if there is an underlying problem with your gums, it may be identified and addressed as soon as possible. Your dentist may also provide you with helpful information on how to reduce your risk of gum disease.

Safeguarding yourself from bad breath during pregnancy

Hormone surges and increased blood circulation during pregnancy create a slew of side effects and symptoms that might contribute to or aggravate bad breath. Taking care of your oral and general health whilst being pregnant can help:

  • Brush and floss on a regular basis, 
  • Use a softer bristles toothbrush to avoid irritating the gums.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine, as well as sodas and sugary drinks.
  • Abstain from alcohol and smoking
  • Consume a variety of fruits and veggies
  • Consume a well-balanced diet rich in healthy grains, lean meat, and dairy
  • Cravings are a natural part of pregnancy, but they might cause you to devour sweeter foods than usual, or to visit the fridge late at night before slumping fatigued back into bed. If at all possible, limit eating and be sure to rinse your teeth thoroughly afterward to prevent causing bad breath.
  • Saliva aids in the fight against odor-causing bacteria, but vomiting and hormonal swings can induce the mouth to dry up. Sipping fresh water throughout the day might assist to moisten the mouth and alleviate the issues associated with a dry mouth.
  • Pregnancy can cause calcium imbalance, which might manifest itself in the later stages of pregnancy. Consult your doctor about this potential problem to ensure you obtain the proper quantity of calcium. To safeguard your teeth, use recalcifying toothpaste.

Final Thoughts

During pregnancy, bad breath is a frequent issue. If you have severe bad breath that won’t go away or if you have any other symptoms, you should seek medical attention. In some situations, medication for the underlying cause of bad breath may be required.

During pregnancy, your body goes through multiple changes. Some of the transient side effects include a runny nose, sore gums, and unpleasant breath. Remember to schedule regular dental cleanings and check-ups, as well as prenatal sessions.

Even if they wash their teeth on a regular basis, many people don’t really brush for long enough. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice each day for two minutes each time. The American Dental Association has published a useful guide that includes video lessons on how to brush properly. Brushing the tongue might help you reduce bad breath. Just make sure you do it correctly so that you don’t gag on the brush.

Bad Breath During Pregnancy FAQs

1) Is bad breath during pregnancy normal?

Bad breath is a typical discomfort during pregnancy. If you have severe foul breath that won't go away or if you have any other symptoms, it's critical that you get medical attention. In certain situations, you may require medication for the underlying reason of foul breath. During pregnancy, your body is going through a lot of changes.

2) How can I stop bad breath during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you must take extra care of your mouth and teeth. This involves cleaning and flossing your teeth as often as possible. To avoid any potential issues that may arise as a result of your pregnancy, you should visit a dental care facility on a frequent basis.

3) Are There Any Risks to Treating bad breath during pregnancy?

  • Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine offers virtually minimal risk. Again, it is critical to avoid alcohol and any other substances that may interfere with pregnancy. Apart from alcohol, these types of chemicals are uncommon in over-the-counter oral hygiene products.
  • If you're going to change your diet to get rid of bad breath, make sure you're still eating enough to sustain yourself and the developing fetus. An unhealthy diet might harm your health and possibly cause birth complications.
  • 4) Will My Breath Stay Bad After Pregnancy?

  • If you didn't have bad breath before pregnancy, it's unlikely that you'll have it after giving birth. While the condition may linger for a few weeks or months after delivery, the body will mostly adjust itself, and the problem should resolve itself over time.
  • In rare cases, bad breath might be an indication of a more serious problem. When all other techniques of dealing with bad breath fail, consult a doctor to ensure there is no other concern.
  • 5) Will acid from morning sickness or acid reflux harm my breath?

    A pregnant woman's breath may suffer as a result of morning sickness. Stomach acid erodes dental enamel. If morning sickness is producing vomiting, combining 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda is recommended. After vomiting, rinse your mouth with this combination. This will aid in the neutralization of the acid. It will aid in the protection of the tooth enamel. After washing your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water, wait approximately an hour before brushing your teeth since brushing exposes the teeth to stomach acids. Acid reflux, which some pregnant women suffer later in their pregnancy, has a similar effect on the breath.

    6) Can you suggest some home remedies for bad breath during pregnancy?

    Changes in lifestyle, like drinking more water and eating a well-balanced diet, can frequently help lessen the effects of sour breath. They're also excellent for your general health and the wellness of your growing baby. Rinse your nose and mouth with boiled and chilled sterile water on a regular basis to treat a runny nose and sensitive gums.

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