What to Do
Noticing a change in your hormones that seems to be causing bad breath? You might need to schedule visits to both your primary care physician and your dental office. It would also be a good time to step up your oral health care routine.
If Taking Hormonal Contraceptives: Check in with your prescribing doctor to inform them of your side effects. At this stage of life – or if you're pregnant or menopausal – ensure you take these steps to help kill the bacteria feeding off hormonal changes, which result in tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath:
- Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner.
- Brush twice-daily with plaque-removing fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean your tongue by gently scraping or brushing off bacteria.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
If Pregnant: Continue to schedule dental check-ups; it's essential to get regular dental cleanings to remove plaque and tartar. That will help you avoid the dangers of gum disease, including bad breath, gum disease, and even pre-term labour.
Make sure to discuss any concerns you might have with your OB/GYN. According to the Indian Dental Association, the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums. Some pregnant women develop gum tumours, but about 50 percent of pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis, which can turn into periodontal disease if left untreated.
If Menopausal: Talk to your doctor about hormone therapies to help manage any unpleasant side effects of menopause. Your doctor might prescribe synthetic versions of hormones to help your body get back into balance.
The hormones-bad breath connection is another demonstration of how oral health affects your entire body – and vice versa. No matter your life stage, keep your medical and oral health care professionals informed of any hormone shifts. And set up a consistent oral hygiene routine. That way, you can make sure that you'll continue to have a healthy mouth and a great smile no matter what hormonal changes you undergo.