In some women, pregnancy can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. This is because during pregnancy your increased hormones can affect your body's response to plaque.
According to health experts, pregnancy hormones can actually affect the manner in which your body responds to bacteria, causing periodontal infection, leading to sensitive teeth and gums.
Causes Of Toothache During Pregnancy:
The pregnancy hormones can soften the muscle that is responsible for keeping the food within the stomach. During nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, your teeth can be coated with strong stomach acids. Repeated reflux and vomiting can damage your tooth enamel and lead to decay.
Gum problems such as gingivitis are more likely to occur during pregnancy, due to bad response by the body to plaque, owing to fluctuation in the hormone levels. The general cause of toothache during pregnancy is inflamed or infected gums that often leads to soreness. The soreness in the gums can also cause similar pain as that of a toothache.
Due to unusual food cravings during pregnancy, women experience a desire for sugary snacks, which in-turn increases their risk for tooth decay.
A deficiency of calcium and vitamin D can also lead to dental troubles during pregnancy.
How To Manage Toothache During Pregnancy?
If you have a nagging toothache, it is really hard to ignore your aching tooth and just go about your day. While at other times, you just pop a painkiller and head to your dentist, during pregnancy, you should be extra careful and avoid taking any medication without consulting your doctor.
So, how do you manage your dental problems during pregnancy, without depending much on painkillers and antibiotics?
Try these simple and natural home remedies as a first measure to tackle toothache during pregnancy:
- Ginger root
- Salt water rinse
- Peppermint tea
- Dental Hygiene Tips To Be Followed During Pregnancy
The antibacterial properties of ginger root can heal minor infections, redness, inflammation and wounds associated with a toothache. Hence, it is a great remedy for toothache. Wash a ginger root thoroughly and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, cut about half-inch thick piece of the root, remove the outer skin and bite down the root using the tooth that hurts, while extracting the juice from the root and swishing it around the area using your tongue. Keeping chewing the root for five minutes and spit out.
Turmeric can work wonders for a nagging toothache. Just mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder with sufficient water, so as to make a thick paste. Use a cotton ball or a cotton swab and apply this paste on the affected tooth. Being a good antiseptic, turmeric can calm your ache. Repeat the procedure until you experience relief.
The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anaesthetic properties of clove make it a great remedy for toothache. Just combine two ground cloves with olive oil, coconut oil or vegetable oil. Apply the mixture on the painful tooth with a cotton ball. Continue this procedure several times in a day until you find some relief.
Salt water rinse
By rinsing your mouth with lukewarm salt water, you can remove the bacteria dwelling within the oral cavity. This can be practised even when you don't experience a toothache, to control the level of bacteria within your mouth.
Just put a few dried or fresh peppermint leaves in boiling water. Allow it to remain soaked for a few minutes. Strain the solution when warm, and use the tea as your mouthwash and spit the water out after gargling.
Dental Hygiene Tips To Be Followed During Pregnancy
• If you are planning your pregnancy, it is good to visit your dentist beforehand and discuss any dental issues that you may have. It is important to get your gums checked by a dentist, as gum problems are the primary cause of dental discomfort during pregnancy.
• Switch to a softer toothbrush during pregnancy and make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to help protect your teeth against decay. Flossing is important too.
• You can also rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing with regular water, followed by a fluoridated mouthwash.
• If you have nausea and vomiting, brush your teeth an hour after vomiting.
• If you have a sweet-tooth, try to snack on low-sugar foods instead, such as fresh fruits. Rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouth rinse after having a sugary snack.
• Increase your calcium intake during pregnancy. Apart from protecting your bone mass and meeting the nutritional needs of your unborn baby, your teeth will be healthy too.
• Include foods such as cheese, fatty fish, eggs, etc., that are rich in vitamin D to utilize the calcium in the body.
Pregnancy can bring about dental problems in some women. If you maintain good oral hygiene habits, and take necessary precautions in advance, you are less likely to have dental problems during pregnancy.
However, in case you develop a toothache or gum sensitivity during pregnancy, there are several natural solutions available that you can try out as a first measure. Together with the help of a professional, you can keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy.