Proper oral health is important during pregnancy to prevent gum diseases and plaque build-up. In fact, gum diseases in pregnant women raise the risk of delivering underweight babies and premature labor.
While bad breath is a common issue in pregnant women, it must not be ignored. Pregnant women must consult a doctor to identify the underlying reason for bad breath.
Bad breath in pregnancy causes:
There are many factors that cause bad breath or halitosis in pregnancy. Here are some of the reasons that cause the bad mouth smell during pregnancy.
(1) Bad oral hygiene
Expecting mothers or pregnant women need to maintain good oral hygiene and take additional care of their teeth health. Irregular or improper brushing and flossing (after having foods) can permit food debris to stick to the teeth and allow bacteria to form a plaque. Bacterial plaque can lead to a hardened surface, known as tartar. This can result in gingivitis or gum inflammation. If it is not treated, gingivitis can cause severe Periodontitis.
(2) Halitosis (bad breath)
Pregnant women are more probably to suffer from swollen or inflamed gums during their pregnancy early stages. Inflammation or gingivitis of the gums results in bad breath or chronic halitosis.
(3) Changes in hormones
Women during pregnancy undergo hormonal fluctuations. The discrepancy in the progesterone and estrogen levels in the first trimester can increase the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Regular food snacking can further increase the accumulation of plaque that contains bacterial colonies. Bacteria release sulfur compounds that lead to bad-stinky foul breath in pregnant women.
Pregnant women must drink a lot of water during their pregnancy. Dehydration can result in the dry mouth or xerostomia.
(5) Dry mouth during pregnancy
Dry mouth in pregnancy is caused because of the decreased amount of saliva inside the mouth and this can be because of hormonal imbalances or body dehydration. During the pregnancy, hormonal changes cause increased blood volume, body fluids, and urination. These can lead to dry mouth while pregnant. When there is a decrease in saliva, the colony of bacteria overgrows in number than the normal flora. When the colony of bacteria increases inside the mouth, it causes smelly bad breath.
(6) Morning sickness
Vomiting in the morning is one more reason for halitosis in pregnant women. When a pregnant woman expels partially digested food with stinky stomach acids, it can stay inside the mouth and result in a stinky and foul breath. Thus, the pregnant woman must thoroughly rinse the mouth after vomiting to clean food particles present in the mouth.
(7) Tooth decay and dental caries
Dental caries and tooth decay are one of the reasons for halitosis during pregnancy. When the bacteria grow inside the mouth it produces acids that erode the tooth enamel surface and lead to tooth caries or tooth decay. Deep tooth caries results in ulceration and gum inflammation and causes bad breath.
(8) Low digestive system
In the course of pregnancy, women go through from a poor digestive system. This can result in the production and accumulation of gasses and acids that are the reason for bad smelling breath in burping.
(9) Lack of calcium
Deficiency of calcium in the food can derive calcium from the teeth and can deteriorate the teeth and result in bad breath. Hence, pregnant women require extra calcium to support their body and growing fetus.
These are a few reasons for what causes bad breath during pregnancy.