How to ease wisdom tooth pain during pregnancy

tooth pain during pregnancy

If you’re having problems with your teeth during your pregnancy, know that you’re not alone - up to 75% of pregnant women will experience this. Therefore, it is exceptionally important to take good care of your teeth during these nine months.

Should you, however, start experiencing a toothache in your wisdom teeth, there are some things you can do to make things more bearable. 

The cause of teeth pain during pregnancy

One of the most common causes of this pain is the fact that women’s hormone levels change a lot during pregnancy. As a consequence, more blood can come into the mouth, and this makes pregnant women more prone to dental problems such as swollen gums or plaque.

The latter can lead to pregnancy gingivitis or even periodontal disease which may result in losing a tooth.

We all know how women crave various foods during pregnancy, sometimes not exactly good for teeth. Indulging in these foods without taking care of your teeth properly can result in cavities.

 Morning sickness is another cause of tooth pain because it can affect tooth enamel, and the same goes for acid reflux.

Risks of removing wisdom teeth while pregnant

The main risk of removing wisdom teeth during pregnancy stems from the fact that the procedure often requires general anaesthesia to be administered to the patient. General anaesthesia can increase the risk of complications, especially during the first trimester.

This can be avoided relatively easily, though, by administering local anaesthesia to the tooth. It is generally recommended that pregnant women only undergo general anaesthesia if it’s absolutely necessary.

Before the surgery

If you do decide to undergo surgery, general anaesthesia is not recommended, but if you must use it, you shouldn’t drink or eat anything at least 8 hours prior. 

Brush your teeth before you go see your dentist and bring someone along to drive you because you won’t be able to drive yourself.

Care after the surgery

Once the procedure is done, there are many things you can do to increase the speed of your recovery. For example, you can apply ice packs to the outside of your cheek for the first day after the surgery and then use a cloth soaked in warm water for the next couple of days.

Furthermore, you should not lie flatly on your bed - put several pillows under your head.

You should also stick to liquid foods such as soup or yoghurts immediately after the surgery and then gradually add solids back on your menu. Also, avoid any sucking motions (such as the ones used when smoking or drinking through a straw) because it can slow down the healing process.

A good idea is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water regularly, but start doing this about one day after the surgery. Simply put a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and you’re good to go.

Best home remedies to reduce the pain

home remedies pregnancy

Some women are simply not willing to go get surgery if they have problems with their wisdom teeth or are unable to do so. And yet, the pain persists, so something needs to be done about it.

Fortunately, there are several very easy solutions that can help you out. We’ve already mentioned rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, but you can also use clove oil. Just soak a ball of cotton in with the oil and then apply it on the aching tooth for about 15 minutes.

Turmeric can also help, but it’s best to combine it with toothpaste and baking powder. Rub the resulting mixture on your wisdom teeth and let it sit there for a few minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.

Naturally, you can also go to the pharmacy and get some paracetamol, always seek professional medical advice before taking pain killers whilst pregnant. 

Conclusion

So, problems with wisdom teeth are quite common among pregnant women, primarily because of the hormonal changes that happen in their bodies during that period.

It is possible to alleviate the pain in a variety of ways, including homemade remedies that are as simple as salt water. Just relaxing can be of great help too, so lighting a few aromatherapy candles and making yourself a hot bath is certainly an option.

If the pain persists and becomes unbearable, however, you may be forced to undergo surgery. In that case, remember that it is not recommended for expectant mothers to be subjected to general anaesthesia. Local anaesthesia does the trick without any risk for the baby.

All in all, while unpleasant, the pain in your wisdom teeth can very much be dealt with, even with the things in your kitchen cupboard.

FAQ

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal During Pregnancy Safe? 

The very act of removing wisdom teeth poses absolutely no risk for the pregnancy. The problem is that the procedure requires the patient to be anaesthetized, and many dentists use general anaesthesia for that.

This can be damaging for the baby, especially if the pregnancy is still in its first trimester. After that, the risk drops significantly. However, the best way to avoid all of that is to get local anaesthesia if at all possible.

Are Wisdom Teeth X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

While x-rays are not something that is recommended for pregnant women to do, the risks for your baby of getting an x-ray of your teeth are exceptionally small. This is because the fetus never gets exposed to the radiation, which is actually quite weak, and most dentists will protect the mother with a leaded apron.

Furthermore, very few images will be taken this way, reducing the time of exposure. In short, you should feel comfortable going through with this.

Is Oral Surgery Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy? 

It is very much recommended that pregnant women avoid going under general anaesthesia if at all possible. The risks for the baby that this presents are especially high in the first trimester and decline later during the pregnancy because the fetus is more developed and resilient.

A much better choice is using local anaesthesia to get the job done.

Can You Get Wisdom Teeth Removed When You're Pregnant?

Yes, just be aware that local anaesthesia should be used in the process. Furthermore, it is recommended to wait until at least the second trimester for the procedure, if possible.

If that is not possible, however, and your wisdom teeth are infected, you should get them removed because the infection can spread through your body and endanger your baby. In short, it’s much riskier not to do it.