My husband may have been being polite, telling me my breath was fine. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. Bad breath is common in pregnancy.
For one thing, women produce less bacteria-cleansing saliva when they are pregnant. The immune system is also suppressed which can make it easier for bacteria to flourish. The bad breath may also be the result of gingivitis or pregnancy-triggered dental problems.
Sometimes women have bad breath due to sluggish digestion and heartburn– the hormones of pregnancy sedate the smooth muscles, including that little muscle in your throat that keeps stomach acid from swilling up. Good times.
You can talk to your obstetrician or midwife about medicinal treatments; but many are not recommended in pregnancy. If there are no underlying dental problems, this issue will resolve on it’s own at the end of pregnancy but in the meantime, there are a few things you can try:
- Go to the dentist *more often* than usual during pregnancy to keep checks on plaque and gum disease. I can’t overstate this enough. Problems really can accelerate fast during pregnancy.
- Keep up your cleaning routine with brushing twice a day and after meals, but don’t be rough! Use a soft bristle brush to avoid irritating already sensitive gums.
- Rinse with hydrogen peroxide and water mix, salt water or lemon juice
- Talk to your care-provider about some of the possibility of using natural bad breath elixirs with things like lemon, mint or almond oils.
photo: db photographs/flickr