It is a known fact that during pregnancy, there are a ton of hormonal and physical changes that women go through. Along with all these changes, it also brings a host of the most interesting, but very irritating and often very confusing symptoms that you cannot escape.
Since there is a whole list of symptoms that happen during pregnancy, it can often get difficult to differentiate whether those symptoms occur because of pregnancy or something else altogether. Pregnant women often tend to question: is toothache a sign of pregnancy? Let’s find out.
Is Toothache a Sign of Pregnancy?
Are you suffering from a toothache during a pregnancy? Well, then it is highly possible that it is a symptom of your pregnancy. However, we do recommend that you visit either your OB-GYN or your dentist to confirm that that is true and not some dental issue that is causing a toothache. After all, you can’t be too sure about anything when it comes to that tiny human growing inside you, right?
As we said, there are tons of changes your body go through when you are pregnant. Some of them may or may not cause toothaches. In the section below, we will take a look at these signs.
Changes Caused by Pregnancy
Everything ranging from hyperactive hormones to increased levels of blood flow makes pregnancy take a toll on you both physically and even mentally. Some of the most common causes of toothaches that occur during pregnancy include increased blood flow, hormones, and gum disease.
- Increased blood flow
During pregnancy, your body needs to work overtime in order to support you as well as your growing child, which means that there is an increased level of blood flow in your body. This increased flow will create swollen and sensitive gums that are quite tender to the touch. Which is why, hot and cold foods can now trigger that sensitivity, something that you may not have experienced before.
Pregnancy hormones may affect your body almost similar to the way the body responds to bacteria. This means that it can lead you to experience periodontal infections and sore gums and teeth.
- Gum disease
It is a known fact that women are very susceptible to gum disease when they are pregnant, which may also be a catalyst for preterm labor. Gum disease leads to a sore mouth, which can cause added discomfort during pregnancy.
Other Reasons Why Toothache Occurs During Pregnancy
Aside from the most common ones we have mentioned above, there are also other explanations as to why some women experience toothaches when they are pregnant. Among these include:
- Change in your saliva
The change in your hormones may also affect the saliva. When the saliva changes, it will also bring change to its texture, making it thicker and stickier. As a result, the germs proliferate, and it changes from being alkaline to acidic. Additionally, you will find that the amount of saliva in your mouth also decreases quite a bit during pregnancy.
- Change in the acidity in your mouth
The stomach begins to feel much more compressed as the uterus continues to grow bigger in size. This also means that you end up eating smaller quantities of meals more frequently. Ultimately, this results in an increase in the level of acidity in your mouth, which may cause a toothache.
- Failure to brush your teeth
It is a known fact that most women suffer from morning sickness during the first months of their pregnancy. So, to stick a brush inside your mouth first thing in the morning may just not be such an exciting idea.
Pregnant women may tend to forget to brush their teeth or not do so properly, which will eventually lead to having toothaches. Additionally, the smell and the taste of toothpaste may also make them want to throw up.
Dental Surgery During Pregnancy
Women always fear about getting any sort of dental surgery done during their pregnancy. However, any basic dental surgery is considered to be absolutely safe for the fetus as well as the mother.
But, it is advisable to avoid any kind of dental surgery during the first trimester of the pregnancy wherein morning sickness is constant. The second and the third trimester is the ideal time to visit the dentist.
The anesthetics used during dental surgeries are not harmful to the fetus. In any case, always let your dentist know that you are pregnant, as he or she will prescribe medications that won’t affect the well-being of your fetus.
Even the X-rays done on your mouth are not going to be harmful to the fetus. As an added safety measure, you can request the dentist for a leaden apron that you can put over your belly.
Can Toothache Affect the Fetus?
Pregnant women who have periodontal diseases almost have seven times the risk of delivering a premature baby than women who do not have periodontal diseases. In addition, they also are at very high risk of delivering a baby that has a significantly low weight.
If you have decayed teeth, that means there is a ton of bacteria build-up in your mouth, and this can easily infect the fetus too. Moreover, the fetus will also have a higher chance of having decayed teeth as he or she grows older.
Thus, it is absolutely essential to treat periodontal diseases as quickly as possible and also guard yourself against them so that your baby has a better immunity against periodontal diseases in the future.
Dealing with Toothache During Pregnancy
The unfortunate part about dealing with a toothache during pregnancy is that it limits the use of some of the medical intervention necessary to treat sore gums and teeth as it may be harmful to the fetus. However, with some extra attention and care, you can keep toothaches at bay during your pregnancy. Here are some of them:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that will clean your teeth thoroughly and, at the same time, be gentle on your gums. A soft-bristled toothbrush will reduce any bleeding or soreness.
- Be careful of foods that will trigger your sensitivity. Sensitive gums are a common symptom of pregnancy. So, when you indulge in certain cold and hot foods, it might cause you discomfort or even pain.
- Avoid sweets as much as you can, as the sugar from it will feed the bacteria present in your mouth. This will further worsen the soreness and can create more cavities.
- Visit your dentist as often as you can to keep your teeth clean.
So, is toothache a sign of pregnancy? Yes, it indeed is. While it may be almost impossible to avoid the toothaches, what you should be careful of is not to worsen it further as the teeth and the gums are highly sensitive during pregnancy. Ensure that dental hygiene is a priority for you.