There are many different changes that occur within your body when you are pregnant. Among these, you will most likely experience morning sickness, fatigue and weight gain. While these pregnancy symptoms are well known, there are actually some fairly unknown symptoms of pregnancy that can also occur.
A toothache during pregnancy is actually quite common. All of the hormonal changes in your body increase the chances of gingivitis, which is a type of gum inflammation. In addition, you are more likely to get a cavity when you are pregnant. Both of these causes can lead to a toothache or sore gums. While it is important to take care of your bodily health during pregnancy, you should also make sure to take care of your dental health. Brushing your teeth, flossing and using mouth wash can help prevent toothaches from happening during pregnancy.
What Makes a Toothache During Pregnancy Happen?
Everyone experiences tooth decay at some point in their lives. Even with the best care, time can wear down the teeth and dental caries can develop. Normally, you may not notice that you have a cavity or you may just feel a slight pain. Since pregnancy can make swelling and inflammation worse, this can make the sensation of pain greater. There are a variety of reasons why you may develop a toothache during pregnancy. Some of the these reasons include:
1. Morning Sickness Problems
Many women experience morning sickness during part or all of their pregnancy. This causes acid from your stomach to come back up through the mouth. The acid is only intended to be in your stomach, so it can weaken the teeth or increase the chances that you will experience tooth decay. Morning sickness is a common cause for tooth decay and toothaches during pregnancy.
2. Oral Hygiene
Women who are pregnant are often more sensitive to smells or tastes. This unfortunately means that they may become overly sensitive to the smell or taste of their toothpaste. Some women end up brushing their teeth less due to this, which can end up increasing the chances of tooth decay. It can also increase your problems with gingivitis, other gum-related disorders and toothaches.
3. Dietary Changes
It is normal for your diet when you become pregnant. You may drink more milk, eat more sugar or indulge in a few cravings. Depending on how your diet changes, it can end up leading to tooth decay. If you do get a cavity, go to your dentist to get it treated.
4. Calcium Deficiency
Your baby needs to develop strong bones during the coming months, so it needs calcium. If you do not consume enough calcium, your body may remove it from calcium-rich parts of your body like your tooth enamel to provide the fetus with the minerals it needs. This can cause the tooth enamel to become demineralized, and you may experience a toothache.
Hormones are flooding your body that can cause inflammation. Among the many parts of your body that can become inflamed or swollen, your gums are one of the most obvious spots. During pregnancy, you may experience gingivitis and conditions caused by gingivitis like tooth disease, infections and gum abscesses. Roughly half of pregnant women experience some level of gingivitis, so it is important to talk to your doctor in advance about preventative options.
Is It Safe to Treat a Toothache During Pregnancy?
It is normal to be concerned about getting dental or medical treatments when you are pregnant. While some medications and treatments should be avoided, you should still go to your doctor and dentist. Your dentist will want to treat your toothache, cavities or gingivitis. Make sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant beforehand so that they can inform you about any medication or x-ray risks in advance.
Medications to Watch Out for When You Are Pregnant
There are a number of medications that you should not take for a toothache if you are pregnant. Among these medications, you should especially watch out for oxycodone or Percocet. Both of these medications are linked to birth defects, so it is important that you do not take them. Instead, talk to your dentist and take alternative medications like acetaminophen instead. You should also be careful about the antibiotics that you take, although some like penicillin are safe to take during pregnancy when they are prescribed by your dentist.
The Safety of X-Rays During Pregnancy
Many people who are not pregnant are concerned about the safety of x-rays. You should be especially cautious about taking even dental x-rays when you are pregnant. Your dentist will most likely try to avoid giving you an x-ray. If a dental x-ray is unavoidable, he or she will give you a lead apron to protect your thyroid gland from the x-ray. As long as you minimize the number of x-rays that you get and use a lead apron, you should be safe.
Treating Toothaches During Pregnancy Naturally
Since there are many concerns about taking medication during pregnancy, you may want to opt for a natural solution to your toothache pain. The following home remedies are generally considered safe when you are pregnant.
A cold compress can be made using ice. This bag can then be wrapped in a clean cloth before being placed on the side of your face. If you do not have ice at home, you can always use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth instead.
2. Warm Water
Add some salt to a cup of lukewarm water. Afterward, use it to gargle and rinse your mouth. This will help to remove some of the toothache pain and clean out any food particles in your teeth safely.
3. Hot Compresses
Using hot water, make a clean cloth slightly damp. Place it on the side of your face where the toothache is. This will help to boost the circulation in the area so that your immune system will naturally start to combat the pain’s source.
Onions have been used for toothache pains for centuries. Try chewing a piece of raw onion for less than five minutes or place a slice on top of the tooth if you cannot chew comfortably.
Cloves are a natural home remedy for toothaches. Put some clove oil on a cotton ball before applying it directly to the affected tooth. You can also chew on a clove instead. The antiseptic properties in cloves will help to remove some of the infection and they will also work to alleviate pain.
Raw spinach can be used to help with pain relief. This safe remedy can be made by chewing the spinach leaves or mashing them into a paste.
Garlic is known for having antimicrobial properties. The allicin in garlic works like an antibiotic to attack the bacteria that is causing an infection. Garlic has been used for centuries to treat toothaches, so it can be used safely during pregnancy. Make sure not to leave the garlic on your tooth for too long or it can cause severe discomfort.
8. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves can be chewed or turned into a gargle for toothache pain. Boil the leaves in salt water to make the gargle, but make sure that the salt water has cooled before you use it. Make sure to gargle so that the solution reaches the affected tooth.