Bringing a new life to the world is the highest achievement in a woman’s life. But it is also a long process and sometimes not very easy. It’s not unusual for a woman to have toothache during pregnancy. So it is better for woman that as soon as they learn about their pregnancy to make an appointment with the dentist for a proper dental care. It’s very important to learn what products are safe to use for you and your baby, how to proceed during the pregnancy months etc.
Remember that any pain felt during pregnancy is stressful for the mother as well for the baby, so the sooner you visit a dentist the better. Many women suffer from toothache during their pregnancy and put up with it, because they fear their baby’s health might be at risk from the dental care. THIS IS SO FALSE. Having dental care when pregnant doesn’t harm your baby, but it prevents any harm from the stress you feel because of the toothache. Some studies show that untreated toothache can result in a low weight birth or even premature baby.
Most common causes of toothache during pregnancy
- Impacted wisdom teeth and Pericoronitis – When a wisdom tooth hasn’t erupted entirely and part of the tooth crown is still covered by gingival tissue. This condition happens when there isn’t enough room for the wisdom tooth to erupt normally. A space forms between the gingiva that covers the tooth and the tooth and there get stuck foods and bacteria causing an infection of the pericoronal sack of the tooth and the gingival tissue surrounding it. The main symptom is the strong pain in all the jaw. The gingival tissue appears red and swollen. A temporary home remedy for pericoronitis is to brush the area carefully at least twice a day to avoid bacterial colonization or use an antibacterial mouthwash, but careful ask the pharmacist what type you can use when pregnant. To get an instant relief you should go to the dentist because he can clean the area better using professional tools and also he can cut the gingival tissue over the tooth making it easier for you to clean. He can do that using a topic anesthetic that doesn’t harm your baby at all. Sometimes the wisdom teeth need to be pulled out to relief from pain and the dentist will choose the proper treatment depending on the mother’s health conditions.
- Pulpitis – When because of an untreated cavity in one of the tooth, the pulp (nerve) of the tooth gets infected by bacteria. The pain is strong and you should never put up with it. The stress he causes you is transmitted to your baby, and as we said it can do more harm than good. An emergency dentist will decide depending on the situation what can be done. He might decide to do a pulpotomy (removing part of the crown’s pulp and use medications for the remaining part until the baby is born then do a proper root canal therapy) or he can decide to do a root canal therapy but it is difficult since he can’t use x-rays. Or he can decide to use other medications temporary. If you are filling pain in the middle of the night and can’t go to the dentist until morning you can use clove oil. With cotton pellet put the medication on the cavity and it should help you ease the pain until next morning. You can also use paracetamol since it doesn’t harm you or your baby. You can use also other over the counter pain killers but take advice from the pharmacist of what is suitable for you.
- Pregnancy gingivitis – Because the hormonal changes going on a pregnant woman’s body changes happens also in the periodontal tissue. It becomes more susceptible to the damaging factors like bad dental hygiene. So to prevent swollen gums and pain from them take good care of your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and use floss. If the gum disease has started than you should go to a dentist so he can choose a proper treatment. And all kind of treatment depends on the mother’s condition.
When is the best time to receive professional dental care?
- In the first trimester the pregnant woman is going throw endocrine changes that cause her nausea, irritation end so she is less willing to collaborate with the dentist. This means that the first trimester isn’t the right time to receive long appointments. The x-rays and drugs should be avoided because they increase the risks of spontaneous abort and also risks of teratogenesis. In spite of everything some emergency treatment can be done to control the pain and to prevent aggravation of the situations. The best choice is to postpone treatment as much as possible.
- In the second trimester the pregnant woman is more willing to collaborate with the dentist because her functional request and the size of the baby are reduced. This is the best time for her to receive treatment. Types of treatment that can be done are: endodontic therapy, simple extractions, conservative treatment like fillings.
- Third trimester. The uterus is bigger in this faze, the functional requests of the woman’s body are increased and her anemia causes her respiratory and cardiac problems like: dyspnea (reduced breathing), tachypnea (rapid breathing), tachycardia(increased hear rate) etc. In this faze dental treatments increase the risks of premature birth. The most your dentist can do are simple therapy in a sitting position.
What medications can be use or not?
Anesthetics – There are no indication in using amide anesthetics like lidocaine and articaine. Mepivacaine can be used with caution and is contraindicate the use of prilocaine which can cause hypoxia of the fetus.
The vasoconstrictor substance contained in the anesthetic that can be used in pregnant woman in a low dosage is adrenaline. Are absolutely contraindicated the use of noradrenalin, vasopressin and oxytocin.
Antibiotics – The use of penicillin and other B- lactamic antibiotics are considered safe for the pregnant woman and is case of allergy they can be replaced with antibiotics from the macrolide group except eritomicin.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics – Paracetamol is the safest one but your doctor may prescribe others if it doesn’t stop your toothache.
Is always better and easier to prevent than to cure. The most important thing to remember is not to endure toothache when pregnant and increase stress for the baby. You have to keep yourself healthy for the babies sake.