Why Does My Tooth Hurt During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you may see an increase in blood in the sink when you brush your teeth or experience random tooth pain. Some changes in your mouth are normal in pregnancy, but if you have concerns, you may want to see your dentist. You may be able to undergo some procedures (cleanings, for sure) but may need to postpone certain types of dental work until after the baby is born.

You're not only eating for two, you're brushing for two! Taking care of your oral health is one of the keystones to maintaining your overall health. You can look after your oral health while pregnant by regularly flossing and brushing.

Tooth neglect can lead to gum infections, which can cause preeclampsia (a dangerous form of high blood pressure that can happen after 20 weeks of pregnancy), as well as preterm birth and low birth weight.

This article will outline some of the causes of tooth pain during pregnancy, remedies to try at home to treat the symptoms, and when to seek medical

Pregnant woman at dentist

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Causes

Hormonal changes and imbalances, diet changes, and sensitive gums are all causes of toothaches during pregnancy.

Hormonal Imbalances

Your hormones, especially estrogen, rise throughout pregnancy, which can cause nausea and vomiting.

Vomiting can be dangerous to your teeth because it causes the acid from your stomach to back up into your mouth. This can lead to erosion of tooth enamel. Rinsing with water after getting sick can help offset tooth damage.

Other Symptoms of Pregnancy

Symptoms of early pregnancy can include:

Diet Changes 

During pregnancy, your taste preferences may change. Foods you may crave, like sugary juices, sodas, or ice cream, can affect your oral health and lead to unintended cavities.

Instead of avoiding the things you crave, try drinking a glass of water and brushing your teeth after enjoying them (in limited quantities)

Sensitive Gums 

Do you notice your gums are puffy, red, and bleeding more than usual? Your blood volume increases during pregnancy. This could be one reason for more blood when you brush.

Try using a toothbrush with a soft bristle and take care when using dental floss.

You may also have plaque buildup from gingivitis, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Your dental hygienist may recommend more frequent cleanings until it subsides.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

This is a common condition during pregnancy. Symptoms include swollen, red, and bleeding gums.

At-Home Treatment

There are some treatments you can safely handle at home, like water rinses to help clean your teeth and keep them free of bacteria.

Baking Soda and Water Rinse

Nausea and vomiting are common during the first trimester, and these symptoms may go away and return periodically. To protect the enamel of your teeth from the acid in the bile from your stomach, try swishing with warm water and baking soda after vomiting.

Saltwater Rinse

Try a warm saltwater rinse to soothe a toothache. The Cleveland Clinic recommends using about one-half teaspoon of salt stirred into a glass of warm water several times per day.

Apply Cold Press


Apply a cold press for 20-minute periods throughout the day, or drink ice water to reduce inflammation that leads to tooth pain. If you're bleeding, the cold will slow that down too.

Tooth Pain Is Temporary

Tooth pain can be worrisome during pregnancy but will likely subside after the baby is born.

Prevention

Tooth decay is one of the causes of toothaches, so the best treatment is prevention. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep a mouth and body healthy.

Keep up with regular dental cleanings. At home, brush and floss after meals and before bed. Try a fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth after brushing and flossing. Also, drink plain water throughout the day to help keep bacteria at bay.

Talk With Your Dentist


If the tooth pain persists, make an appointment with your dentist to see if there's something that they can do. The dentist may want to take an X-ray of the tooth and this is considered safe by the ADA.

Be sure to tell your dentist that you're pregnant and how far along in the pregnancy you are.

Unsafe Procedures

Put off procedures that require anesthesia because not all dental procedures are safe during pregnancy. Also postpone cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening until after the baby is born.

Summary

Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in your body and mouth. Tooth pain can occur from hormonal imbalances, changes in diet, and gum sensitivity. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly can help offset tooth decay and should be maintained during pregnancy. Home remedies such as mouthwashes and saltwater rinses can help with the discomfort you may experience.

A Word From Verywell

Your oral health is important to maintaining your overall health. Take care of your oral health while pregnant by sticking with a routine of flossing and brushing. If you have any discomfort, pain, soreness, or excessive bleeding. contact your dentist to see if you can come in for a full dental exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is tooth pain a sign of early pregnancy?

    Yes, it could be. Hormonal changes may cause sore gums and tooth pain. If you're experiencing this symptom, consider taking a pregnancy test.

  • Which antibiotics are safe during pregnancy?

    Consult your physician before taking any medication. Antibiotics that are considered safe in the short term include:

  • How can you reduce gum swelling?

    Try a cold pack for 20-minute periods. Try drinking ice water throughout the day.

  • Is it normal to lose teeth during pregnancy?

    No. If your tooth feels lose, contact your dentist right away.

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9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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