I’m trying to decide if I need to see the dentist or if this is just pregnancy-related. I woke up with a horrible toothache across my upper right teeth. It felt like I did the last time I needed a root canal treatment. A friend mentioned this happens in pregnancy even when nothing is wrong. I want to believe her because it is convenient but don’t want to ignore a dental emergency. Can you advise me? I’m about 10 weeks pregnant.
Pregnancy throws your hormones into seeming chaos, though all of it is for an important purpose. Some of the side effects of that on your oral health include the following:
An increased risk of gum disease
Two things factor into this. The first is an increase in inflammation. This in turn also allows for more bacteria to harbor. Left unchecked this is a recipe for gingivitis. You would typically see a change in color in your gums, along with inflammation, and bleeding when you brush or floss.
However, this starts in the gums and would have to go untreated for some time before it would affect your teeth. Because of that, I don’t think this is what you’re facing. Your pain seems to originate in the teeth. That leads me to another possibility.
When you are pregnant, there is an increase in mucus production which leads to both swelling and irritation of your sinuses. Because your upper teeth are so close to your sinus cavities, that pain sometimes radiates toward your teeth. Patients often mistake this for a toothache.
There are pregnancy cleared allergy medications and decongestants. Ask your OB for a list of what is safe for you to take. These will decrease the mucus production and pain you are experiencing.
Avoiding a Dental Emergency
Here’s the problem you’re facing. There really isn’t a way to know if it hormonal irritation, sinus problems, or a tooth infection. Because of that, you are safer getting looked at. Your dentist should be familiar with protocols during pregnancy and will be able to keep both you and your baby safe.
You’re almost to your second trimester which is the most comfortable time for you to see a dentist. So, now would be good to go in. If you wait, it could blow up into a full-blown dental emergency. That’s not healthy for either you or your baby.
This blog is brought to you by Des Moines Dentist Dr. Phelan Thomas.