Generally, dealing with a toothache can be quick and simple. However, when you are pregnant, the treatments available are more limited. You may also feel nervous about pursuing certain types of treatment. The following guide can help.
Increased risk of toothaches
During pregnancy, you are at increased risk for a number of tooth and gum issues. It is essential to pay attention to any toothaches you have. They may indicate an issue with your dental health, or overall health and should be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Possible gum disease
One of the issues pregnant women often experience is gum disease, which can present as a toothache. Pregnancy gingivitis is particularly common and occurs due to hormonal changes in your body. Signs of gingivitis include swollen and tender gums. Dr. Owens may recommend more frequent hygiene cleanings during your pregnancy if you are showing signs of gum disease.
Your teeth may become more sensitive during pregnancy, leading to a higher incidence of toothaches. This can be due to a number of factors but is often affected by morning sickness.
If you vomit frequently, the acid in your mouth can cause tooth decay and even erode your tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth with water, and possibly dissolved baking soda, to wash out the acid and restore the pH balance in your mouth. If you are experiencing severe morning sickness or a gag reflex and are struggling to brush properly, ask Dr. Owens or your hygienist about solutions to help keep your mouth healthy.
Maintain good dental hygiene
During pregnancy, it can be a challenge to maintain good dental hygiene. You may have a tender mouth, or you may have developed sensitivity to the taste of toothpaste. However, poor dental hygiene can quickly result in toothaches and other issues.
Using a soft bristled toothbrush can help. This allows you to clean your teeth regularly without causing discomfort to your sensitive gums.
Control sugar intake
A common cause of toothache in pregnant women is an increase in sugary foods and drinks. This is often related to pregnancy cravings. However, sugar-free options can help prevent decay and pain, especially if they contain Xylitol which stimulates saliva production to help wash away bacteria and food debris.
Increase calcium consumption
Many women may experience a decrease in calcium during pregnancy. This can weaken your teeth. Increase your calcium intake while you are pregnant, to help keep your teeth strong and avoid toothache.
Visiting the dentist is safe
It is perfectly safe to visit the dentist while you are pregnant. The treatment you receive may be different from normal depending on your oral and overall health. However, Dr. Owens and his staff know what is safe for you and the baby.
Keep your dentist informed
To ensure Dr. Owens makes the right decisions about your toothache, tell him if you are pregnant. Even if you only think you might be pregnant, it is important to avoid any treatments or medications that might present a risk.
Cleaning is safe
While elective procedures such as teeth whitening should wait until after the birth, professional cleaning is safe while you are pregnant. More frequent cleanings may be recommended due to the increased risk of decay and toothache during your pregnancy.
X-rays may be postponed
The radiation from an x-ray means they are sometimes avoided during pregnancy. Because of this, some dental surgeries such as dental implants are postponed until after the birth. However, a dental x-ray can be safely performed with the correct shielding if it is required.
Anesthetics can be fine
In general, it is considered safe to have a local anesthetic for a dental procedure while you are pregnant.
However, it is not considered advisable to have full anesthetic, which renders you unconscious, while pregnant. This means certain procedures should be delayed until after you have given birth.
Treatment is important
It is very important to seek out treatment for your toothache while pregnant. Ongoing dental problems can affect your health and may even affect the health of your child.
Additionally, an untreated toothache can develop into a more serious issue, requiring surgery which may have to be postponed until you give birth.
We welcome you to call or visit our practice if you have any questions about your oral health while you are pregnant.