Pregnancy can come with many uncomfortable moments whether it be morning sickness or swelling feet. But toothaches can also be an issue during pregnancy and not one that is often talked about.
A toothache during this time can have many causes, but if you take some preventative measures and receive treatment when needed, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
3 Common Causes of Toothaches During Pregnancy
Toothaches during pregnancy can have a number of causes and it’s not always due to a lack of dental hygiene. The most common causes include:
01. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormones rise throughout pregnancy and that can cause nausea and vomiting. And, of course, vomiting is none too kind to the enamel on your teeth. It can erode the enamel but rinsing your mouth with water after you vomit and using acid-neutralizing toothpaste can help prevent some of the damage that could lead to a toothache.
Hormone level increases can also lead to:
- Plaque buildup: your body’s response to fighting off plaque can change during pregnancy due to the hormone changes and if the plaque is left untreated, it can build up and increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Gum disease: hormonal changes can also increase the risk of pregnant people getting gingivitis, which can lead to sore gums and can eventually lead to a toothache if left untreated. Watch for signs of gum disease, and talk to your dentist if you think you might have some of these symptoms.
02. Diet Changes
Diet changes during pregnancy can also lead to toothaches. This is especially the case if you have strong cravings for sugary drinks and foods that can lead to cavities. If you don’t have the cavities filled, they can lead to more serious damage.
03. Blood Volume
Your blood volume also increases when you’re pregnant which can be one of the reasons your gums may be red, puffy, or bleeding. A toothbrush with soft bristles and being careful when flossing can help with this.
Treatments For Toothaches During Pregnancy
While there are plenty of reasons toothaches are an issue during pregnancy, there are also plenty of treatments for this issue, including:
- Professional cleaning: seeing your dentist when you have a toothache is your best treatment option. They can give you a professional cleaning and tell you how to prevent further toothaches. Make sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant at the appointment. They will take precautions, but it’s good to know that regular cleaning is very safe for you and your baby.
- Aloe vera: the plant has both antibacterial and antifungal properties and by putting it on your gums, it can reduce swelling and decrease bacterial growth.
- Milk: calcium is recommended for pregnant people to begin with, but beyond what it does for your circulatory and nervous system, it can also help maintain gum health as. Just make sure to brush twice a day as milk can lead to plaque formation.
- Salt water: mixing together a half teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swishing it around your mouth can help soothe the pain that comes with a toothache
- Cold compress: putting a cold compress on the area that hurts for 20-minute periods throughout the day can reduce inflammation. If you have any bleeding, it can slow that down as well.
There are also several food remedies that can help with toothaches including pomegranate, garlic, and clove. Pomegranate juice can fight plaque buildup and bacterial infections while garlic is a natural antibiotic and can kill bacteria around infected areas. Cloves or clove oil can also be used as an antiseptic. You simply need to apply it directly to the tooth to feel the effects.
How To Prevent Toothaches During Pregnancy
If you’re looking to prevent a toothache while you’re pregnant, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can try to decrease the risk. A few key methods to make sure you follow include:
- Brush twice a day with a toothpaste that is made to relieve pain
- Use a toothbrush with softer bristles to gently brush off plaque. Or try an electric toothbrush to get a really great clean without so much effort
- Use a mouthwash that’s made to reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities
- Floss at least once a day to help remove harmful bacteria that can lead to toothaches
- Maintain a healthy diet that doesn’t include too many sweets foods or sugar-filled drinks
- Keep up with your dental appointments to ensure your dentist catches anything before it becomes a toothache or something worse.
When To See The Dentist for Toothaches During Pregnancy
If your next dentist appointment isn’t for a couple of weeks or months and you’re feeling tooth pain that won’t go away, make an appointment. It’s better to catch something early than wait a few months and have it be much worse once your regular appointment comes around.
While it can feel like there are many restrictions when it comes to your health and the health of your baby, dentistry is fairly safe. Just make sure you tell your dentist ahead of time, and stay away from dental procedures that involve anesthesia during your pregnancy.
Toothaches shouldn’t be ignored — no matter what stage of life you’re in! If you have a toothache, schedule an appointment at Mogren Dental. We’ll help you determine the cause of it and provide the treatment you need to feel better.