Everyone knows pregnancy can transform your body in major and minor, short-term and long-term ways. But some of the changes that occur during those nine amazing months come as a big surprise to moms-to-be because of how infrequently they’re discussed. This is especially true of oral issues.
Excess saliva is common during pregnancy, and this can leave you with bad breath. Halitosis may also be the result of bacteria that’s accumulating under the tongue and gums. Luckily, using a tongue scraper can help curb any offensive odor.
Even if your breath is OK, you may have a strange taste in your mouth. Some pregnant women experience dysgeusia, a distortion in taste that is often described as metallic. This is due to changing hormone levels, and because your sense of taste and smell is heightened during pregnancy, you may be especially sensitive to the taste of vitamins, supplements and even your own fillings. Regularly rinsing with a pH-balanced mouthwash can make a difference in this unpleasant issue.
Your gums may be swollen and more prone to bleeding during pregnancy, especially while brushing your teeth. Hormonal changes can increase gingivitis during the first trimester and cause your gums to react differently to bacteria and plaque. Switching to a softer toothbrush can decrease bleeding while brushing.
Your gums may also develop tumors during pregnancy. Although it sounds scary, they are nothing more than benign growths. In most cases, they shrink and fade after you’ve given birth.
In most cases, these changes are temporary. However, regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist can ensure a healthier mouth both during and after pregnancy.
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