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How to Treat a Toothache during Pregnancy

Toothache is relatively frequent in pregnancy and can develop suddenly and last for hours or days, affecting the tooth, jaw and even causing headache and ear pain when the pain is very severe. It is important that as soon as the pain arises, the pregnant woman should go to the dentist so that she can identify the cause and start treatment if necessary.

Toothaches during pregnancy is usually caused by increased tooth sensitivity and gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums that is common during this phase. But the pain may also be related to other causes like broken tooth, abscess or growing wisdom tooth.

How to Treat a Toothache during Pregnancy

What to do to relieve toothache during pregnancy

To relieve toothache during pregnancy what you can do is:

  • Use painkillers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen every 8 hours. Although some medications are able to cross the placental barrier, they are not related to effects on the baby, but it is important that their use be indicated by a dentist. Other painkillers, such as Benzocaine, for example, can bring serious complications to the baby, as it can slow placental circulation, preventing sufficient oxygen from reaching the baby, which can cause the baby to die;
  • Mouthwashing with warm salt water may help relieve pain and is safe for the pregnant woman;
  • Using sensitive toothpaste such as Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitive, however, it is recommended that the toothpaste be low in fluoride or in small quantities as too much fluoride may decrease the absorption of minerals essential for pregnancy and may cause complications for the baby;
  • Apply ice, protected with a cloth, on the face, as it can help relieve pain and discomfort.

Although going to the dentist is a sensitive issue for many pregnant women and even dentists, it is very important that the woman continues with a regular visit to the dentist to maintain your mouth healthy. When you follow the dentist's recommendations, there is no risk to the mother or baby.

It is important for the pregnant woman to go to the dentist as soon as she has a toothache to verify the cause and therefore start treatment or perform cleaning, obturation, root canal treatment or tooth extraction, which can also be done during pregnancy. The dentist may also recommend the use of antibiotics if necessary, and the use of Amoxicillin, Ampicillin or macrolide class antibiotics may be indicated, and these medications are safe during pregnancy

Natural Remedy For Toothaches

To relieve toothaches at home you can chew 1 clove or do a mouthwash with chamomile and propolis tea, as they have anti-inflammatory effect. Also, a good natural remedy for toothaches is to apply parsley patches to the affected tooth as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve toothache.

Main Causes for Toothaches

Toothaches is usually caused by the presence of tooth decay, especially when oral hygiene is not done properly. However, there are other causes for toothache that include:

  • Gingivitis: An inflammation caused by increased progesterone in pregnancy that lead to bleeding during tooth brushing;
  • Broken Tooth: The crack of the tooth may not be visible to the naked eye, but may cause pain on contact with hot or cold foods;
  • Abscess: Causes a swelling in the mouth due to a tooth or gum infection;
  • Wisdom Tooth: Causes gum inflammation and is usually accompanied by headache and ear pain.

When the toothache does not go away, you should see a dentist as it may be necessary to take medication such as antibiotics to treat the infection or to clean, fill, root canal or extract the tooth. The causes of a toothache can cause serious damage to the tooth pulp and in these cases root canal treatment done by a dentist is necessary.


  • VASCONCELOS, Rodrigo G et al. Atendimento odontológico a pacientes gestantes: como proceder com segurança. Revista Brasileira de Odontologia. Vol 69. 1 ed; 120-124, 2012
  • CODATO, Lucimar A. B et al. Atenção odontológica à gestante: papel dos profissionais de saúde. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva. Vol 16. 4 ed; 22997-2301, 2011
  • DA SILVA, Mara Elaine A. Protocolo Clínico para o Atendimento às Gestantes de Ribeirão das Neves. Trabalho de conclusão de curso de especialização, 2012. Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
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