Bad breath, which everyone has experienced at some point in their life, can have a variety of causes, ranging from food and digestive disorders to improper oral health and gum disease. Did you know that hormones could contribute to bad breath?
Hormonal factors, whether caused by pregnancy, menopause or menstruation, can lead to less-than-pleasant breath. Especially during pregnancy, an increase in the production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen occurs, leading to an elevation in the protein content in your saliva. Bacteria produce more odorous metabolites when higher protein levels are present. The thicker the saliva, the less oxygen is present, initiating the process of sulfur production. The buildup of plaque can also cause the gums to overload with bacteria and even more plaque-commonly known as pregnancy gingivitis.
What’s the solution? Take good care of your gums. While regular brushing is essential to keeping harmful bacteria at bay, flossing morning and night and after every meal is key. It is normal for bleeding to occur when hormone levels are elevated, but if you notice extreme bleeding or gum inflammation, see your dentist.