With all of the unsightly and unattractive things that are happening to you during your pregnancy, bad breath won’t even be a surprise. It’s almost like your body is working against you, trying to make you as embarrassed and gross as humanly possible in the nine long months leading up to your birth. It’s really not your body’s fault, and if it really was working against you, it would probably do much worse than swollen ankles and halitosis. Anyway, bad breath is one of the many pregnancy symptoms caused partly by the raging hormones coursing through your system as your baby develops. The changing levels of estrogen and progesterone increase dental plaque, which causes bad breath.

Also, your bad breath might be caused by a deficiency in calcium, which is common during pregnancy. Your baby’s development requires high levels of calcium, so much of that will be taken from your own body. Low calcium is known to cause bad breath and discolored teeth, so before make sure you talk to your doctor about getting enough long before your mouth starts grossing you out.

Morning sickness, which is rarely reserved for the morning, might be another culprit. If you’re vomiting frequently throughout the day, it could be negatively affecting the balance of healthy bacteria in your mouth, which could cause bad breath. Even if you brush your teeth vigorously after every visit to the bathroom, the balance will still be upset and bad breath could be a result.

Your bad breath could even just be caused by the lifestyle changes you’re going through during pregnancy. You’re eating more on the go, you aren’t drinking your usual coffee, and you’re hitting the fridge at 2:00am every night without telling your partner. All of these changes can change the amount of plaque in your mouth, which will bring on bad breath.

Whatever the cause, bad breath during pregnancy is harmless but embarrassing. Talk to your dentist or doctor about it if you become self-conscious. One way to prevent bad breath is to make sure you get a cleaning and dental check-up in your second trimester, which experts recommend. Also, carrying mints around will save you from those awkward social moments when you need to be up close and personal during a conversation. While it’s inconvenient, your bad breath will fade away after delivery, and people probably notice it less than you think.

Source: Bhavadharini Rarnu et al: Prevalence and Risk Factors for Gastroesophageal Reflux in Pregnancy. Indian Journal of Gastroenterology Volume 30 Issue 3 pp. 144-147