Toothache During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment
Causes of Toothache when Pregnant Treatments for Toothache when Pregnant Toothache Prevention While Pregnant
Pregnancy comes with a multitude of new experiences, emotions, and for some expectant mothers, potentially uncomfortable side effects. One concern for soon-to-be moms is toothache during pregnancy.
Causes of Toothache when Pregnant
As your baby develops in the womb, your hormone levels increase, which can lead to tooth pain and other concerning dental symptoms, such as:
- Plaque buildup – Your body’s natural response to fighting off plaque fluctuates during pregnancy, mostly due to hormonal changes. If left untreated, plaque can continue to accumulate, eventually hardening into tartar and increasing your risk of tooth decay.
- Morning sickness – During the initial trimesters of pregnancy, vomiting is often a common occurrence for most women. Therefore, it is important to brush with an acid-neutralizing toothpaste to effectively and safely eliminate stomach acids that can contribute to tooth erosion. Otherwise, your enamel begins to weaken, opening the doorway for further tooth pain when pregnant due to sensitivity and cavities.
- Gum disease – Because of hormonal changes, most women are more susceptible to contracting gingivitis during pregnancy, leaving gums sore, tender, and vulnerable to more severe issues down the road.
Treatments for Toothache when Pregnant
Although there are at-home treatment options available, the safest and most effective solution to dealing with toothache during pregnancy is to see your dentist or dental hygienist. Most common dental procedures such as a professional cleaning are perfectly safe for both the mother and fetus. Simply let your dental professional know that you’re expecting and he or she will take extra precaution during treatment.
There are a number of home remedies you can try to help alleviate toothache pain during pregnancy. A common remedy makes use of baking soda, as the ingredient helps to neutralize acids to prevent decay and bacteria. However, avoid brushing too harshly with baking soda as it can strip away your enamel. Additional at-home methods include:
- Aloe Vera: Known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, the plant can help reduce bacterial growth and lessen any gum swelling you may experience during pregnancy.
- Milk: Calcium and Vitamin K, both found in milk, are essential for gum health. Drink warm milk a couple times a day to help reduce gum bleeding and inflammation, but be sure to brush your teeth twice a day as milk tends to increase plaque formation.
- Pomegranate: Effective as a preventative measure, pomegranate juice can help fight plaque buildup and bacterial infections. Be sure to drink or rinse with a sugar-free pomegranate juice.
- Garlic: Applying garlic directly to the area that’s causing your tooth pain can significantly lessen discomfort. Since it contains allicin, garlic is known to be a natural antibiotic, killing bacteria around the infected areas without any side effects.
- Clove: A natural antiseptic, clove or clove oil can be applied directly to the affected tooth for fast relief.
Toothache Prevention While Pregnant
Making a few simple switches to your daily oral care routine and paying special attention to your oral health can help keep decay and tooth pain at bay.
- Brush twice a day with a toothpaste specially formulated to relieve the pain caused by tooth and gum sensitivity such as Crest Pro-Health while ensuring enamel protection.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean off plaque buildup or switch to an electric toothbrush with a sensitivity mode for a more effective clean.
- Rinse with a mouthwash designed to reduce the early signs of gum disease like Crest Gum Care to better alleviate bleeding gums.
- Be sure to floss at least once every day to better remove harmful bacteria and plaque buildup.
- Maintain a healthy diet composed of vegetables, fruit, dairy, and whole grains. Avoid foods that cause an increase in plaque bacteria such as candy, cakes, and dried fruits.
- Keeping up with your dental appointments, checkups and professional cleanings are essential in ensuring your smile stays healthy and pain-free during pregnancy. Most common dental procedures, such as a professional cleaning, are perfectly safe for both the mother and fetus. Simply let your dental professional know that you’re expecting and he or she will take the necessary precautions during treatment.
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