There are dozens of changes that can happen to the female body during pregnancy. Most often, this includes hormonal changes, organs shifting around, and problems with the teeth and digestive tract.
One of the most common complaints we see from our pregnant patients is that they are experiencing mild to severe tooth pain. In this post, we will identify the most common causes of a mother’s teeth hurting during pregnancy.
Causes Of Tooth Pain During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, some women may experience dental discomfort or increased tooth sensitivity. There are a few factors that can contribute to these dental changes:
- Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones, particularly estrogen, and progesterone, can cause increased blood flow to the gums. This increased blood flow can lead to swollen, tender, and sensitive gums. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis. Hormonal changes can also affect the body's response to plaque, making pregnant women more susceptible to gum disease.
- Increased blood volume: During pregnancy, the body experiences an increase in blood volume. This increased blood flow can make the gums more sensitive and prone to bleeding.
- Nutritional changes: Pregnancy often brings changes in eating habits and nutritional needs. If a pregnant woman's diet lacks essential nutrients, such as calcium, it can weaken the tooth enamel and lead to increased tooth sensitivity.
- Acid reflux or morning sickness: Some pregnant women experience acid reflux or morning sickness, which involves stomach acid coming into contact with the teeth. The acid can erode the tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and discomfort.
Solutions For The Pain
Because our dental health is directly connected to our digestive tract, cardiovascular system, and brain, it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy. To manage any dental discomfort and tooth sensitivity during pregnancy, consider the following tips:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
- Use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth: Consider using a toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. These kinds of toothpaste can help alleviate tooth sensitivity by desensitizing the nerves in the teeth.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing to strengthen the tooth enamel and help prevent tooth decay.
- Practice gentle oral care: Be gentle when brushing your teeth and gums to avoid irritating sensitive tissues.
- Eat a balanced diet: Ensure you are consuming a nutritious diet that includes foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients for healthy teeth and gums.
- Visit your dentist: Regular dental check-ups are important during pregnancy. Inform your dentist about your pregnancy and any discomfort you are experiencing. They can provide appropriate treatments and offer guidance for maintaining good oral health.
It's important to note that dental care is safe during pregnancy, and neglecting oral health can have consequences for both the mother and the baby. Therefore, it's crucial to prioritize dental hygiene and seek professional dental care as needed during pregnancy.
Excellence in Dentistry offers comprehensive care during all patient checkups. Whether you’re expecting or not, it is crucial to pursue a routine checkup to protect your dental health.