Pregnancy is a wonderful period in which mothers anticipate the arrival of their baby, prepare for maternal care, and enter a new phase in their lives. Unfortunately, toothache is a common companion during pregnancy.
During this period, hormonal changes in metabolism regulation occur, and a woman's body becomes very vulnerable. Pregnancy is often a catalyst for oral problems. Teeth become sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Painful sensations occur during oral hygiene routines, and gums may bleed. Saliva acidity increases, exposing the teeth to increased bacterial exposure.
There are more than enough prerequisites for toothache. Even with regular oral care and dental visits, nearly half of women experience tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis, stomatitis, and other inflammatory dental conditions during pregnancy.
In fear of harming their unborn child, most expectant mothers are afraid to take any action to eliminate toothache and resort to the method of "waiting for the pain to go away on its own" - this is fundamentally a wrong approach. Pain attacks have a negative impact on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and can cause involuntary uterine contractions, and even premature birth. The belief that dental treatment during pregnancy is undesirable is a dangerous misconception. Even initial tooth decay progresses much faster during pregnancy. Modern dentistry offers many effective treatment methods and means that are safe for both the expectant mother and the baby. The dentist chooses the treatment individually, according to the clinical picture and the length of the pregnancy.
Therefore, if you have a toothache during pregnancy, you don't have to endure it; seek dental care! Dental repair during pregnancy can be safe and painless. Dentists know how to reduce or eliminate toothache during early and late pregnancy without harming the baby.
Main Causes of Toothache During Pregnancy
There are many triggers that cause toothache during pregnancy. A woman's body during this period becomes particularly susceptible to various changes, which often result in dental problems.
The main cause of toothache in pregnant women is tooth decay, characterized by a wide range of symptomatic manifestations, from acute reactions to temperature changes in food/water to the destruction of tooth structure and damage to deep tissues.
Other causes of toothache during pregnancy include:
- Pulpitis: characterized by inflammation of the tooth pulp, accompanied by acute pulsating pain. It can cause inflammation of the lymph nodes and an increase in overall body temperature.
- Inflammatory processes of infectious nature: purulent inflammatory processes are of particular danger.
- Changes in the chemical composition of saliva: typically, the amount of phosphates and other components in saliva decreases in most pregnant women, which protects tooth enamel from external irritants such as acids and alkalis.
- Gingivitis: a common dental problem that occurs in 45% of pregnant women. Gum inflammation is caused by hormonal changes in the body and vitamin deficiencies.
Calcium deficiency plays a significant role in the development of dental problems in pregnant women. The growing fetus requires a lot of essential nutrients, so the body rapidly depletes calcium and other nutrients, prioritizing the baby's needs over the mother's teeth. For this reason, dentists recommend increased consumption of calcium-rich foods for pregnant women.
Toothache During Pregnancy: Is it Dangerous?
The occurrence of any painful sensations or general weakness can lead to the development of numerous complications because pain is the body's reaction signaling to the brain that there are problems. Most people in such situations take pain relief medications, but during pregnancy, there are many restrictions that prevent the use of standard painkillers.
Dangers of toothache include:
- Formation and development of an inflamed process with a source of infection. Such lesions are particularly dangerous, with toothache occurring in the first trimester of pregnancy;
- Intense release of adrenaline during pain attacks, which are accompanied by vasoconstriction (tightening of blood vessels) and a parallel reduction in the transfer of oxygen and nutrients to the embryo;
- The progress of the underlying disease and the formation of complications, until the need for the removal of the causative tooth or surgical intervention in the affected area.
Toothache removal should be done only after consultation with a specialized dentist. Self-administration of drugs can lead to complications or endanger the unborn child.
inflammatory mediators into the bloodstream, which can affect the condition of the mother and the developing fetus.
Features of toothache treatment and pain relief during pregnancy
Pills for toothache treatment during pregnancy should be used only according to the doctor's instructions! When prescribing any drug, doctors take into account a whole range of factors, including: the physiological state of the patient's body, contraindications, test results, gestational age, etc.
When is it necessary to consult a dentist?
All acute inflammatory diseases of the teeth and gums are subject to immediate treatment. Even the smallest carious cavity is an infectious focus, potentially dangerous for the developing fetus. If a carious tooth is not treated in a timely manner, pulpitis and periodontitis may develop, accompanied by severe pain and other symptoms.
You should see a dentist immediately if you experience the following symptoms:
- tooth sensitivity to cold, hot, and sweet;
- pain (acute, throbbing);
- bleeding gums;
- pain when biting, chewing;
- redness, swelling of the gums;
- bad breath;
- purulent discharge
How to relieve toothache during pregnancy?
Toothache is a symptom of an underlying disease, which causes great discomfort to the patient. Its elimination is not the solution to the problem, therefore an integrated approach is needed in the treatment of the underlying disease, mainly: caries, stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontitis, periodontal disease, or any other dental pathology.
The basis for effective treatment of toothache is an accurate diagnosis, which can only be carried out by a specialized doctor in a dental office. Doctors use various diagnostic methods to assess the condition of the teeth and oral cavity tissues not only visually, but also structurally.
Many young mothers believe that treatment of dental problems during pregnancy is contraindicated - this is a misconception. During pregnancy, there are a number of restrictions, including taking medications and performing manipulations. But the consequences of dental diseases can cause serious problems, up to the spread of infection, so the need for certain interventions is decided by a doctor who evaluates all risk factors.
Given that pregnancy lasts 9 months, three trimesters to be exact, the methods of treating a toothache vary depending on the trimester in which the toothache occurs.
Toothache in the first trimester of pregnancy
Treatment with invasive methods or reducing the intensity of pain with drugs is not recommended in the first trimester. During this period, the amniotic placental barrier is formed, which protects the fetus from infectious agents and other problems.
Also, in the early stages, it is strictly forbidden to prescribe anesthetics and strong painkillers of any pharmaceutical group. The best way to reduce toothache during this period is folk remedies, herbs, and mouthwash solutions.
Toothache in the second trimester of pregnancy
Toothache in the second trimester is more common than in the first trimester and is accompanied by increased pain. In this phase, the use of some painkillers is allowed, which in most cases have a fairly high efficiency.
Despite the "harmlessness" of certain drugs, they should be taken very carefully in small doses, under the strict supervision of a doctor.
Toothache in the third trimester of pregnancy
During this period, it is allowed to expand the list of drugs that can be used for pain relief. In the third trimester, stronger drugs are allowed (in emergency cases, when the pain becomes unbearable for the woman).
Despite the expansion of the list of drugs that can be used for toothache during pregnancy, it is not recommended to use ibuprofen-based drugs - such drugs reduce the volume of amniotic fluid, which can harm the health of the fetus.
Before taking any therapy (including herbal and folk remedies), be sure to consult your doctor and dentist!
Dental imaging during pregnancy
Contrary to popular and widely accepted opinion, dental imaging during pregnancy is possible. For this purpose, computerized radio-vision recorders are used. The radiation exposure received by the patient when using the visiograph is minimal. If possible, the study should be conducted in the 2nd trimester, except in cases where emergency help is needed - severe, acute toothache during pregnancy. The X-ray examination is performed with respect to all possible means of protecting the fetus.
In cases where the inflammation is large and the pain becomes unbearable, it is not advisable to delay surgical intervention. If there are indications for tooth extraction during pregnancy, then the possibility of carrying out the procedure must be agreed with the therapist and gynecologist.
Anesthesia for a tooth during pregnancy is performed using local drugs that have a minimal number of side effects and do not adversely affect the fetus. However, extraction is only performed if there is an urgent need.
- pulpitis, periodontitis, in which adjacent tissues become infected;
- deep carious focus affecting the root;
- cyst or malignancy;
- the growth of a wisdom tooth accompanied by complicated inflammation or if the tooth presses on an adjacent tooth;
- tooth root fracture;
- rapid development of periodontal disease, which is not amenable to therapeutic treatment.
If a pregnant woman feels pain while chewing, then she will not be able to eat completely, which leads to nutritional deficiencies. This situation negatively affects her body, the formation and growth of the fetus.
Each case is considered individually by the doctor. If possible, reschedule the operation for a more convenient time.
Toothache prevention during pregnancy
The best way to protect yourself from disease is quality prevention. Toothache during pregnancy is no exception. To reduce the risk of their occurrence, you must follow a few simple rules:
- Ensure proper oral hygiene (brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and in the evening);
- Timely treatment of caries - treatment of the initial stages of caries without the use of anesthesia, provides minimal discomfort to the patient and prevents the development of problems;
- Follow a proper, healthy diet - the diet should include fermented milk products, as well as foods with a high calcium content;
- Taking vitamin complexes - as recommended by the doctor.
Pregnant women are advised to visit a dentist as soon as discomfort in the oral cavity appears. Even better, prevent the disease, taking into account the sensitivity of the teeth during the period of carrying a child. To do this, you should undergo 4 scheduled preventive examinations within 9 months:
- at 6-8 weeks;
- at 16-18 weeks;
- at 26-28 weeks;
- at 36-38 weeks;
Before planning a pregnancy, you must definitely visit a dentist, treat your teeth and gums, and perform a professional cleaning. Make sure to maintain a proper diet in order to ensure a sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and other elements for the formation of the fetus, maintaining healthy bones and teeth of the mother. If you experience any worrisome symptoms, make an appointment with a dentist without delay.