Toothache in pregnancy may be an issue encountered by some expecting mothers. While this is not very common, it does happen to a few women. This is why if you are concerned about experiencing a dental problem while pregnant, don’t fret. We have gathered for you essential information and advice on what you can do to prevent this problem.
You can also read more about tips on how to deal with it appropriately without compromising your child’s condition. Let’s go ahead and tackle this issue on toothache in pregnancy and what you can do about it.
Why Toothache in Pregnancy Happens
When you are pregnant, your body releases a surge of hormones that can impact how your body responds to dental plaque. It is why some moms-to-be suffer from dental issues including gum problems and tooth decay.
However, it does not necessarily mean that pregnancy causes damages to your teeth. And no, you don’t have to lose a tooth each time you give birth. Can you imagine how horrible that would mean if you have 5 or so kids?!
But one thing is for sure - if you are deficient in calcium, this compromises your bone health. Your teeth also relies on this important mineral, so you need to make sure you have enough of it.
Calcium deficiency can also affect the development of your child. Your baby eats what you eat, remember? So if you are not getting sufficient nutrients in your body, you are also depriving your child of the vitamins and minerals he needs.
It gets even worse when you start breastfeeding since this mineral is lost quickly among nursing mothers.
What Happens When You Have Dental Problems During Pregnancy
Having a toothache during pregnancy or gum disease is bad news for you and your child. In fact, research links gum disease with low birth weight or premature birth. Preemies are at risk of various health issues including eyesight problems and cerebral palsy.
There have also been studies that 18 in every 100 premature child births may be due to periodontal disease. Thus, it only makes sense that you seek dental treatment to minimize the risk of low birth weight or premature birth.
What are the Common Gum Issues Among Pregnant Women
There are a few gum problems that pregnant women may suffer from because of hormonal issues. These include the following:
1. Pregnancy Epulis
This is a condition when your gum enlarges and bleeds easily. If you suffer from this dental problem, you will need professional cleaning. Excision is not often required but may be recommended in serious cases.
Pregnant women who develop gingivitis usually experience it during their second trimester. When you have gingivitis, your gum tends to swell and bleed each time you brush and floss.
Gingivitis symptoms that remain unaddressed or untreated can worsen the issue. Chronic gum swelling and infection may occur, as well as a potential tooth loss.
It is also important to note that these gum diseases do not occur because of plaque buildup. Instead, these happen because of an increase in hormone levels, causing the body to respond to plaque differently.
During pregnancy, morning sickness may also occur. Vomiting regularly, however, does not help with gum problems. In fact, gastric reflux and morning sickness put you at a high risk of tooth decay as stomach acids coat and stick to your teeth. With repeated vomiting, the tooth enamel becomes weaker and is more susceptible to decay.
What You Can Do to Prevent Toothache During Pregnancy
Like we have mentioned earlier, toothache in pregnancy does not happen to ALL expecting moms.
If you have great oral hygiene routines, you have less chances of having dental problems. This is why you need to perform the following techniques to beat oral issues effectively:
1. Regular Brushing
This is self-explanatory. You need to brush your pearly whites after every meal or thrice a day to prevent plaque buildup.
It is common that food debris gets stuck in between your teeth even after you brush them. Flossing or using the water flosser helps get the debris out for a more thorough dental cleaning.
3. Regular Dental Visits
If you have plans of conceiving, it is best to get those dental procedures done even before you get pregnant. However, if you are already pregnant, you may have to wait until the second to third trimester for a non-urgent dental procedure to be completed. The first trimester is always more delicate, so you may have to avoid any dental work done during this time.
Be sure to tell your dentist if you are pregnant. Taking dental X-rays, for instance, is not advisable during pregnancy. The same thing applies to dental processes involving the use of medication or general anesthesia.
You should avoid these circumstances if possible to ensure your child’s safety. But if these cannot be avoided, special precautions must be done to protect your baby from harm.
Additional Prevention Tips for Toothache in Pregnancy
Dental problems arise due to gum issues, craving for sweet food, vomiting, and irregular brushing of teeth. Poor oral habits can seriously compromise your baby’s health and development.
If you have an existing gum issue, you need special care to prevent this problem from getting worse. For instance, it is best to use a toothbrush with softer bristles to prevent your gums from bleeding easily. Using a toothpaste with essential ingredients against tooth decay can also help.
After vomiting, you should first remove the stomach acids before you brush your teeth. Simply gargle with tap water to rinse your teeth prior to brushing them. Wait for about an hour after you vomit before you brush.
Then, you should floss and use a mouthwash to make sure your teeth are cleaned properly.
For pregnant women who are prone to snacking on sweets, it is best to mind your diet to prevent toothache and tooth decay. Opt for a low-sugar and healthier alternative to these snacks that are not only good for your teeth but for your overall health.
After munching, always brush your teeth well and rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
Lastly, make it a point to boost your calcium intake during pregnancy. High-calcium food that helps dental and bone health include milk, unsweetened yogurt, and cheese. Accompany that with vitamin D-rich food such as eggs and fatty fish, and you can steer clear of dental problems.