Pregnancy Toothache & New, Age-Olde Wisdom
Lots of lost "wisdom" should remain lost, but some hold grains of truth. Let's look at a few of those old wives' tales regarding motherhood - some good, some bad and many of them regarding pregnancy and teeth.
Here's an assortment of myths about pregnancy toothache and dental work during pregnancy along with some new millennium wisdom:
Old Wives’ Tale #1: Lose a Tooth for Every Child.
21st Century Truth: That may have been more common in the old days, before dentistry.com existed to stress the importance of healthy teeth during pregnancy!
However, some worry regarding pregnancy and teeth remains. The ratio for missing teeth and a woman's pregnancies isn't exactly 1 to 1, but there is a general link between the loss of your teeth during pregnancy and how many children you bear.
According to the New York University College of Dentistry, pregnant women succumb to gum disease and pregnancy toothache more easily due to hormonal and diet changes; not to mention morning sickness's gastric acid delivery to the mouth.
Pregnant women also tend to delay dental care because of a misguided fear of dental work during pregnancy, financial concerns, or because they're too busy with other children to worry about their own gum disease and toothache during pregnancy.
Old Wives’ Tale #3: Dental Work During Pregnancy Should Be Avoided.
21st Century Truth: Wrong, unless we're talking about cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening procedures or veneers.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommends you visit the dentist regularly during pregnancy - for a teeth cleaning, dental exam and to take care of pregnancy toothaches and gum infections.
Why? The American Academy of Periodontology suggests there may be a link between periodontal disease and premature births. The risk of delivering an early or low-birth weight baby for women with periodontal disease may be seven times greater than average.
So take care of your teeth during pregnancy. Watch out for swelling, red, tender or bleeding gums. Your dentist will clean your gums and help you avoid toothache during pregnancy.
You might find pregnancy tumors - growths and swellings between teeth and on gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) says the growths are common, but may be reactions to excessive plaque. See your dentist about a healthier pregnancy and teeth should you discover pregnancy tumors.
Old Wives’ Tale #4: A Pregnancy Toothache Should Be Dealt With in the 2nd Trimester Only.
21st Century Truth: Another wrong one. The 2nd trimester remains the ideal time, but it is not the only time, especially if there's pain or an infection.
If planning to become pregnant, see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning. Notify him or her of your maternal expectations. Your dentist can help you monitor your oral health during hormonal changes.
See to pregnancy toothache, cavity or dental filling and tooth crown problems immediately to stop infection, which could harm your child. Pregnant or not, deal with dental emergencies immediately.
During the 3rd trimester, lying in a dental chair might be uncomfortable. But don't hesitate to go to a dentist to ensure a healthy pregnancy and teeth. Bring a pillow to help get more comfortable.
Sometimes Ye Olde Dames Got it Half Right
Certain medications and X-rays can harm your child. BUT, if you alert your dentist before getting dental work during pregnancy, you can minimize risks.
The APA cites that no single diagnostic X-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects to your child. And the ADA says your dentist will protect you and your child with a leaded apron and thyroid collar, further decreasing radiation risk.
If you experience a pregnancy toothache during the 1st trimester when fetal organs develop, talk to your dentist about the necessity of X-rays.
As for medications, conflicting studies cloud the issue. Minimize the amount of anesthesia you need, but not to the point where you feel pain. The APA recommends you reduce stress (on yourself and your baby) when the dentist works on your teeth during pregnancy.
Call Your Dentist for More Advice
Pregnancy should be a joyful time, but it won't be if you're experiencing pregnancy toothache or gum issues. The important thing is to communicate with your dentist before, during and after pregnancy, and especially if you have infection or toothache during pregnancy.
We'll be pleased to help find someone to relieve your concerns about your teeth during pregnancy, and when to start worrying about your baby's oral health.
Need a dentist, or a pediatric dentist for your arriving little one? Please call us at 1-866-970-0441.