I am pregnant and woke up with a toothache. I don’t know if I need to see a dentist or if it is just part and parcel with pregnancy. A friend of mine said she had toothaches all the way through her pregnancy and there was never anything wrong with her teeth. I don’t want to expose my baby to unnecessary medical procedures if I don’t have to. My last check-up was just a month ago and everything was fine at that point. What do you recommend?
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Having children is such a blessing. Pregnancy does cause quite a few changes in your body. It’s not an easy feat growing an entirely new person. Some of those changes can affect how your teeth feel.
Pregnant women often develop inflamed gums and gingivitis. Though we’re 100% sure why, most research is leaning toward it being the change in your hormones. The hormonal changes your body is going through can cause inflammation which in turn can trap bacteria. This is what will lead to gum disease unless you kick up your oral care a notch. What may have been adequate before you were pregnant may no longer be now.
However, I don’t think this is causing your toothache. The problem would have started in your gums and taken a while to move to your teeth. It would be unusual for it to move that quickly to your tooth in just a month.
Almost 40% of women see an increase in mucus production during pregnancy. This can also swell the nasal cavities. Your sinuses are close to the roots of your upper teeth. This is often why when people are developing a sinus infection it can start out feeling like they have a toothache. In reality, they’re just have referred pain from their nasal cavities.
Take a Toothache Seriously
I would never ignore a toothache. While you may suspect it is a result of your sinuses, it really takes some diagnostic work to find out. As long as your dentist knows you are pregnant, he won’t do anything which could harm your baby. If you are in a high-risk category, you might feel better speaking with your obstetrician first.
A tooth infection is more dangerous for your baby than getting it treated. Ongoing tooth infections and gum disease have been linked to low birth weight, which is never healthy. Plus, if it spreads it can go from a dental emergency to a life-threatening emergency quickly. Think about how close your teeth are to both your heart and brain. You don’t want your infection reaching there.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.