Are you having tooth pain while pregnant? You’re not alone. Tooth pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of tooth pain during pregnancy and how to get relief. We’ll also cover some tips for keeping your teeth healthy during pregnancy. Read on to learn more!
But first, how do I know all of this? Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 While I don’t have much dental experience, I have seen pregnant women with tooth pain and I am excited to share some information and studies with you about how this can be a very important issue.
Of course, before you take the information in this post, please talk with your doctor.
First off, I want to say if your teeth are hurting, be SURE to talk with them. Put that on your list of things to discuss at your next appointment!
Why teeth might be painful in pregnancy
There are a few reasons why you might experience tooth pain during pregnancy. One reason is that your hormones are fluctuating. This can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
Your nose may be stuffy, which may lead you to be a mouth breather, which can change your oral bacteria, and possibly make your teeth more susceptible to dental issues.
Additionally, your gums may be more sensitive during pregnancy, which can also contribute to pain.
It is important to know why your teeth are hurting.
- Is it tooth sensitivity where the actual tooth hurts due conditions (often cold) and then goes away.
- Is it a cavity (if you can see a hole it is likely a cavity)
- Is it gum disease?
If you’re not sure, it would be important to see a dentist so they can help you make a plan.
Honestly, I was confused about cavity vs gum disease. This article was helpful, in case you have that question too.
Tooth pain in early pregnancy
Tooth pain in early pregnancy is often caused by an increase in plaque and bacteria. This is because your hormone levels are changing, which can lead to a decrease in the amount of saliva in your mouth. This decrease in saliva can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria. Additionally, your gums may be more sensitive during pregnancy, which can also contribute to pain.
Tooth pain in late pregnancy
Late pregnancy tooth pain is often caused by gum disease. This is because your hormone levels are changing, which can lead to an increase in plaque and bacteria. Additionally, your gums may be more sensitive during pregnancy, which can also contribute to pain.
Gums Bleeding During Pregnancy
It is not unusual for your gums to bleed when you’re brushing during pregnancy due to the increased blood volume you have (you are also more prone to get bloody noses). However, talk with your provider to make sure that it is not gum disease. If you have not seen a dentist in the last 6 months, you’ll want to make an appointment with them.
Can I see a dentist during pregnancy?
In a word, yes. ACOG finds it very important that you take your tooth health seriously during pregnancy, and visit your dentist.
ACOG is the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They are the group in the US who tends to recommend what should be done, medically, for pregnant people.
They recommend that OB’s check a woman’s mouth at her first prenatal visit, and if her last dental visit was more than 6 months ago to recommend her to see her dentist soon.
Are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy?
YES! In that article from ACOG they do recommend that you do have dental x-rays if indicated, just making sure to shield both your thyroid and your abdomen when taken.
Can I have more extensive dental care during pregnancy?
Yes! They recommend that filling cavities, extractions and root canals are all safe to be done during pregnancy, and would pose a greater long-term health issue if not taken care of during pregnancy.
Link between tooth pain and pregnancy problems
There is no link between tooth pain and pregnancy problems. However, if you have gum disease, it has been linked to low birthweight or preterm labor/delivery.
This article suggests that 18/100 preterm deliveries could be linked to gum disease. And gum disease CAN Be treated during pregnancy.
Honestly, prior to that study many dentists were hesitant to treat pregnant women, but the more we know, the more we know it is important that they receive the oral care they need.
Just be sure to disclose that you are pregnant when you go to your dentist, so they can take any necessary precautions.
Tips for relieving tooth pain during pregnancy
There are a few things you can do to help relieve your tooth pain during pregnancy. First, try brushing and flossing regularly. This will help remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums.
Secondly, if it is due to something like cold — try to eliminate that. Many women love to chew on ice during pregnancy, but find that their teeth become sensitive to it.
You can also use a mouthwash to help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Additionally, you can try using a cold compress to help reduce pain and swelling.
If you have morning sickness and are frequently vomiting, sometimes use of antacids can help decrease the acidic nature of that (lollipops may help with nausea)
However, if you have frequent tooth pain I would recommend seeing a dentist as soon as possible to rule out any more major issues.
So, that’s tooth pain in pregnancy in a nutshell. I hope you found this article helpful.
If you’re looking for more information about pregnancy & labor and delivery check out The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. It can be done in just a few hours and is taught by an experienced L&D nurse.
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that whole thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward getting in the driver’s seat of your birth.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.