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Dysgeusia while Pregnant: What it Means for Oral Health

What is dysgeusia?

Dysgeusia is a condition that impacts your sense of taste. This is very common among pregnant women. However, dysgeusia can also occur to those who are receiving chemotherapy.

For pregnant women, dysgeusia happens mostly in the first trimester. The sudden change will happen due to the high estrogen levels pregnant women experience. The worst part is, someone with dysgeusia will experience a metallic or sour taste even when they are not currently eating.

Luckily, when entering the second trimester, your hormones decrease slightly. In turn, dysgeusia and other pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, hot flashes, heartburn, mood swings, and unusual cravings subside.

How to deal with dysgeusia

Although pregnancy can be difficult, there are many things one can do to make each day tolerable. If you are experiencing dysgeusia, here are some remedies you can try as suggested by a senior clinical nutritionist at the Massachusetts General Hospital:

  • Add a little bit of salt to your food. Although salt is not advisable for most pregnant women, you can add a small amount to food. For instance, add a dash of salt when eating a healthy snack like olives, cheese, and peanut butter.
  • Don’t forget the vinegar. Eating sour-tasting foods can stimulate your salivary production.Thus, this can make you hungrier. Eating is important in your first trimester because this is the time where the fetus needs the most nutrients. Marinate meat products in vinegar or citrus juices. Opt for citrus fruits like oranges, or drink lemonade during or after a meal.
  • Eat, eat, and eat. According to Stacey Nelson, eat as much as you, can and don’t worry about the intake. Just make sure to opt for healthier foods and snacks. It is best to consult your doctor, so you are guided with the dos and don’ts in eating, especially during your first trimester.
  • Change your vitamins. The vitamins you are taking may contribute to the metallic taste you may be experiencing. This can be attributed to the lack of absorption of essential nutrients like potassium and iron.  Ask your doctor to change your vitamins during the prenatal visit, so they can address this problem.
  • Good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene is very important to eliminate dysgeusia. Brush your teeth often, and use a tongue scraper if needed. Try gargling with water with a teaspoon of salt or 8 ounces of water with baking soda. Both help neutralize the pH in your mouth, thus, ridding of the metallic taste.

Pregnancy can be scary considering the things that can happen to you or the baby. If you take care of the little things like brushing and flossing often and eating healthier foods, you’re already setting you and your baby up for success!

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