Expecting moms have a tendency to be cautious in everything they do and with good reason. The health of the baby is dependent on their decisions. They will often have questions about many things. Questions about wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy are quite common. Why is my wisdom tooth pain during pregnancy acting up? Can I get my wisdom tooth removed while pregnant? Is it safe to get it removed? How long does wisdom teeth removal recovery take?
Most expecting mothers don’t hear this enough and if they do, they don’t prioritize it. But preventive dental checkup and cleaning is a must. So if you are planning to get pregnant, it is best to visit your dentist and get any signs of periodontal problems looked at. It is easier to get treatment out of the way now compared to when you are pregnant. There are enough physical changes and hurdles coming your way that you wouldn’t want to add another one. So be safe rather than sorry and make your pregnant life easier.
If it comes to the point where wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy becomes unavoidable, you should know what you’re getting into. We hope to give you all the answers you need to make the right choice. Let’s begin by taking a look at why an expectant mother might need a wisdom tooth extraction.
What Causes Wisdom Tooth Pain While Pregnant
As it is, a pregnant woman’s body undergoes many hormonal changes that give rise to many aches and pains. So it isn’t surprising that these hormonal changes can also cause swollen, sensitive or bloody gums around the wisdom tooth leading to wisdom tooth pain.
The number one cause of wisdom tooth pain during pregnancy is that the problem probably already existed before you became pregnant. If not, it could be because of a number of usual factors that can cause tooth ache including abnormal wisdom tooth growth, plaque buildup, infection, etc. Your dentist should be able to tell you exactly what the problem is.
Treating Wisdom Tooth Infection During Pregnancy
The removal of the wisdom tooth might not be necessary. Your dentist should be able to guide you if there is an infection causing the pain. Oral irrigation of the area surrounding the crown of the tooth will help. If that doesn’t work, there is the option of turning to antibiotics and pain killers.
There are a few things that you should be aware of before taking any medications for tooth ache or infection. There are some medicines that are safe, some that are risky and some that are unsafe to use during pregnancy. Some risky medicines and all unsafe medicines can be harmful for the baby and must be avoided.
Safe pain killers for teeth infection treatment during pregnancy include paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc. Safe antibiotics include penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalosporin and clindamycin. Tetracycline is one widely used pain medicine for dental work that you need to avoid during pregnancy.
Your dentist should check with your OB before prescribing any medication that could be a cause for concern.
When Should I Have My Wisdom Tooth Extraction During Pregnancy
In case you feel the pain in your wisdom tooth is causing too much discomfort, consult your dentist. If your dentist feels that you don’t need the surgery asap, postpone it till after birth. If not, consider the timing.
The first three months of pregnancy (the first trimester) are an important developmental stage for the fetus. It is not advisable to get your tooth extracted during this time because the medications involved could hamper your child’s development.
The safest period for an extraction would be from the fourth to the sixth month (2nd trimester). This is the stage when the baby is growing. So if a wisdom tooth removal during pregnancy is necessary, this is the window to aim for.
From month seven to delivery (third trimester), once again the risks involved in dental surgery increase. At this time, it is virtually impossible to conduct the surgery as a pregnant mom cannot lie in the position that is required. Trying can cause serious harm to you and your baby’s health including the blockage of blood circulation to the heart because of too much weight being exerted on the veins. Most dentists will tell you to avoid surgery at this time and hold on for the last few months till birth.
With that being said, wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy should be avoided regardless of timing, if possible. Wait till after pregnancy to get the extraction done.
Is It Safe To Have Wisdom Teeth Pulled While Pregnant
In the modern era, wisdom teeth removal during pregnancy is considered completely safe as long as the necessary precautions are used. Some things you should know about the extraction include:
We’ve already discussed medications above in detail. There are some medications that are safe, some that are risky and some that are completely unsafe to use during pregnancy. Medications will probably be used before or after the extraction to reduce the pain and prevent infections. In today’s age, any responsible dentist should be able to guide you through the safe use of any medication involved.
The use of anesthesia during pregnancy is largely frowned upon. On the other hand, we also know that when an expecting mother is in pain, she is putting her body and her baby under undue stress. So a balance must be struck. During wisdom tooth extraction, make sure that the anesthesia given to you is as little as possible but enough to completely relax you during the procedure.
The most common anesthesia used for wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy is lidocaine, a local anesthetic. For most part, local anesthesia is deemed okay to use during pregnancy. Although it has been known to enter the placenta, the placenta can usually filter it out before it reaches the baby.
General anesthesia should be completely avoided during pregnancy. It is something that only comes into play under extraordinary circumstances.
The rule of thumb for wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy is simple. As long as your dentist knows you are pregnant, you should be fine.
The use of sedatives is largely discouraged during pregnancy. One sedative that is widely used in dental practice is nitrous oxide gas. Avoid nitrous oxide gas, specially during the first trimester. Look towards alternative medicine for relaxation if you feel like you need it. Sedatives are not the answer to fighting the fear of wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy.
X-Rays are considered safe but it is best to be cautious. Make sure you are well shielded during a dental X-ray specially the womb area. Even though there is little evidence of X-rays causing harm to the health or the development of the baby, avoid getting an X-ray during the first and third trimester.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Recovery
The recovery time for the wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy is similar to that in normal cases. The post-surgery treatment and precautions are also the same.
Wisdom tooth extraction during pregnancy is not something we recommend. It is best to postpone it till after delivery where possible. But if the pain is too much to bear and your dentist feels that extraction is the right call, go for it!
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