Toothache During Pregnancy: Causes And Remedies
Undeniably, motherhood brings joy and happiness to the life of every mother.
More often, however, pregnancy comes with numerous changes such as hormonal imbalances, psychological changes, and dietary concerns.
Such changes significantly contribute to irritating and painful symptoms. Noticeably, a common symptom among these is a mild or a persistent toothache and other dental problems.
Apparently, pregnant women are prone to various dental problems especially gingivitis and swollen gums, which causes intense tooth pain, according to the National Maternal Child & Oral Health Resource Center.
Most often, a toothache while pregnant results to discomfort, which can significantly affect the health of the developing baby.
Notably, according to The American Academy of Periodontology, bacterial infections that causes gums disease and contribute to a toothache during early pregnancy can directly affect the baby.
In essence, the infecting bacteria might pass into the bloodstream and then diffuse into the placenta, causing infections to the uterus. Surprisingly, this condition can lead to an increased risk of miscarriages or preterm delivery.
Causes of Toothache While Pregnancy
- Hormonal changes: Pregnancy is always associated with hormonal changes; during this period, the body secretes high levels of hormones including estrogen and progesterone.
This hormonal secretion triggers reactions in the body such as bloating, a condition that makes the gums swell and become puffy. Puffy gums are highly irritated by external stimuli such as temperature changes, which can cause a toothache.
- Demineralization/Calcium deficiency: During pregnancy, the levels of calcium in the body of the mother decrease since much of the calcium minerals are used by the developing baby for bone formation.
As a result, the low calcium levels reduces the natural remineralization process in the body and that of the tooth enamel. As a result, this may reduce the dental layer composition, thus increasing the risks of tooth cavities and tooth pain.
- Pregnancy Gingivitis: Pregnancy gingivitis is a common gum complication that occurs often among most of the pregnant woman.
This gum problem is mostly caused by hormonal shifts during pregnancy or due to a bacterial infection on the gum.
The common symptoms of gingivitis include softness in gum, inflammation and swelling of the gums. At more severe condition, pregnancy gingivitis may develop into periodontal disease and gum bleeding that can be very painful.
See also: How to get rid of gingivitis fast at home?
- Poor oral health: Noticeably, pregnant women forget to take care of their oral health as they concentrate on their body changes; others avoid brushing altogether as they complain of sensitive and irritating toothpaste.
Failure to brush your teeth leads to the formation and build-up of dental plaque, which indeed increases the risk of a pregnancy toothache and other dental problems.
- Dietary Changes: Frequent hormonal and psychological shifts cause a lot of changes in the woman lifestyles, especially in their dietary habits.
Often, pregnant women tend to increase the consumption of sugary and sweet substances. Consuming these foods leads to a build-up of plaque, resulting in dental decay, a condition that increases the risk of getting a toothache.
Remedies for a toothache while pregnant
Now that you are pregnant with a toothache, the obvious fact is that you should consider highly safe and risk-free remedies to reduce or entirely stop the pain.
In this case, it is a sign that you need to seek medical attention from a dentist. Besides, you need to be selective on some of the homemade tooth pain remedies so as not to harm the innocently developing life.
Some of the best toothaches relieves that you should consider while expecting that adorable child include:
- Maintain an oral health: During pregnancy, you should ensure a daily oral hygiene to prevent common dental problems such as pregnancy gingivitis.
You can change the brand of your toothpaste to reduce the irritation or instead opt to rinse your mouth with warm water after a meal.
Note that, good oral hygiene will significantly maintain your dental health thus preventing a pregnancy toothache.
- Use of Garlic: Garlic has been used as safe and an immediate natural remedy for a toothache for years; it contains essential antibiotics that prevent the bacterial attack, thus alleviating a causative agent for dental infections and toothache. You can chew the garlic or apply a crushed garlic clove on the painful tooth.
- Avoid sugary foods: Pregnant women should avoid eating sugary foods and highly acidic substances like citrus fruits, which reduces dental erosion and thus prevent a toothache.
- Use of a Hot Compress: Hot compressing is a safe and ideal method to reduce pain that persist for long even after applying other methods. Heat is extremely efficient in dilating the blood capillaries and the nerves.
Take a warm towel and press it on the cheek near the painful tooth for about five minutes.
- Use of Whole Clove: Clove is one of the most effective remedies that helps to soothe pain and alleviate tooth pain. Squeeze to release the oils and gently place a small amount in between the painful tooth. Do not apply too much oil since it can cause irritations.
- Use of a Cold Compress: A cold compress is a safe and efficient method that can be used to lessen the painful tooth during pregnancy.
To apply this method, wrap some ice cubes in a light cloth or a paper towel and gently press it on the aching tooth for about 10 minutes. Ice helps to alleviate the pain by numbing the nerves and reduce swelling of the gum.
- Calcium and Vitamins Intake: Taking sufficient calcium levels preferably 1200 mg daily can help in remineralization of the body, which strengthen your teeth and thus reduce the risk of a toothache.
Also, adequate consumption of vitamins would help to supplement the calcium requirements and promote better body health; a healthy body boosts the overall healing of dental problem.
- Taking a Medication: It is important to note that, most of the available toothache medications and painkillers can be harmful to the developing child; for instance, some tooth pain medicines like oxycodone and Percocet can lead to miscarriage.
Therefore, always consult your doctor or dentist before taking these medications. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen and antibiotics like penicillin are considered safe during pregnancy; you can also apply an antiseptic benzocaine based topical creams, suggests MayoClinic.com.
- Routine dental check-up: Having frequent dental diagnosis by your dentist is crucial in promoting oral health and in treating minor dental problems as soon as their symptoms appear.
The timing of the treatment should also be considered. In essence, the 2nd trimester (when the fetus is fully developed) is considered as the most ideal and safest period to receive dental treatment, unless the dental problem is severe and require immediate attention.
Some treatments that can help prevent tooth pain and decay include fluoride treatment and scaling to remove the plaque and tartar.
Conclusively, it is a blessing for a mother to be anticipating a child. This means you should be extra careful to prevent any physiological or psychological pressure that could impact directly on your child's health.
According to numerous studies, intense toothache and gum infections during pregnancy may cause significant labor pain besides lowering the birth weight.
Make sure to maintain oral health and take note of the initial symptoms that accompanies tooth pain for the sake of your healthy and mostly, for the health of the baby.
See also: Baby Bad Breath: Causes and Cures
Fundamentally, to prevent a toothache while pregnant, ensure careful attention to your oral hygiene; also, try to avoid other factors that will lead to a tooth decay or gum disease. As a result, you will prevent the discomfort caused by the intense tooth pain during this period and instead focus on the health of the baby.
Importantly, always remember that prevention is always better than treatment.