Can You Get Your Tooth Pulled While Pregnant? (Anesthesia, X-Ray & Post-Extraction Care)

Getting your tooth extracted isn’t recommended during pregnancy. If the condition isn’t severe, waiting until after you give birth is more favorable. If the condition is serious, it should be prioritized regardless of the trimester. Dentists usually perform this dental activity in the second trimester keeping in mind the mother’s comfort and baby’s development. Getting local anesthesia and dental X-ray done isn’t harmful to the baby. As a pain reliever, Tylenol is recommended. To avoid tooth extraction, pregnant women need to take extra care of their teeth and gums, restrict their food cravings, and go for more frequent dental visits. Discussing any concerns with your dentist and OB-GYN can help you calm down.

No, it’s not just you who hates being in the chair, under the spotlight with your mouth wide open while you don’t know where to look.

The awkwardness of being in the dentist’s chair is felt by everyone and becomes incredibly uncomfortable when you’re sitting there pregnant.

Pregnancy in itself possesses many challenges and can be difficult for many people. On top of that, if you experience dental complications getting your tooth pulled out would be the last thing you want in this condition.

Of course, getting your teeth cleaned is nothing to worry about, but when it comes to getting your tooth pulled, many women wonder if it’ll hurt more and, most importantly, is it safe? Let’s take a look!

Dental issues during pregnancy

A young pregnant woman is tempted to eat sweets but is being mindful to not get any dental issues like tooth decay during her pregnancy.

Going to the dentist regularly every 6 months is essential for oral health.

It becomes easier to recognize any issues with your teeth or gums if you’re regular and helps treat the problems in their initial stage before they can create further harm.

Even if you go to your dentist regularly, pregnancy brings its own challenges during this time, and some issues demand more than regular care of your teeth.

Pregnancy hormones can lead to the development of some dental issues you don’t wish to face.

Tooth decay

Having cravings is common among pregnant women, and those who crave sugary snacks or things high in carbohydrates are more prone to tooth decay.

So you’ve to be extra careful and keep your teeth more cleaned.

Tooth decay could also be influenced by other factors such as vomiting or having acid reflux during your pregnancy.

With morning sickness and many women prone to having reflux, the acid is fast eroding the teeth during pregnancy.

Gingivitis

Due to hormonal changes, women suffer from pregnancy gingivitis which causes an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness.

Your gums are more prone to bleeding during this time, along with plaque build-up.

If you don’t visit your dentist regularly or don’t keep a strict check on your teeth and gums, it can become severe enough to cause serious decay of your gums and teeth.

Pregnancy tumors

Pregnancy tumors, also known as pyogenic granuloma, can cause an extra growth of tissues between the teeth.

The accumulated plaque can cause damage to your teeth.

Is tooth extraction necessary during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman is getting her tooth extracted by her dentist, while her daughter looks at the procedure

The above factors make it more necessary to take care of your teeth during pregnancy. These minor issues can develop into serious problems requiring tooth removal when not taken care of.

The need to get your tooth pulled out depends on the severity of the issue.

Most dentists don’t prefer performing any dental treatment because of performing an x-ray and giving general anesthesia during pregnancy.

Dental treatments like tooth extraction or teeth whitening are something dentists wish to wait until after the baby is born.

When to have tooth extraction during pregnancy?

Depending on your current dental health, you might need to get your tooth extracted if the condition has become severe.

When you’re experiencing severe pain affecting your daily life, you can’t help but need to get the decayed tooth pulled out.

If not done in time, it could affect other teeth, your health, and, in turn, your baby’s health.

Between 15-20 weeks, the second trimester is a much better time duration for this dental activity. When you’re also somewhat comfortable laying down on the chair without any issues.

In the first trimester, the baby’s vital organs are developing. You would want to avoid every possible risk, including getting any dental procedure done or taking pain relievers or antibiotics.

In the third trimester, the belly has grown big enough for the expectant mother to be uncomfortable on the chair, even for a short duration.

Something like tooth extraction takes longer to even consider during this trimester.

In a dental emergency, it’s essential to perform tooth extraction for a pregnant patient regardless of their trimester with their obstetrician’s consent.

Local anesthesia is given via the injection onto the part that needs to be operated. It’s perfectly safe for the baby, as this drug doesn’t travel through the bloodstream.

Your dentist will discuss all the procedure-related stuff beforehand and clear your doubts if any.

X-ray for tooth extraction during pregnancy

A dentist is showing his pregnant patient her dental x-ray

Besides anesthesia for pregnant mothers, one of the concerns is getting an X-ray done for tooth extraction.

Although your dentist will ensure all precautions are undertaken to perform the X-ray, it’ll be done if necessary.

Most dentists also skip x-rays if they have a pregnant woman on the chair. But if an X-ray is necessary, they’ll ask you to wear a lead apron to protect the baby against exposure.

Post extraction rituals for pregnant mothers

Mothers are also skeptical about taking medicines during this time because they don’t want to harm the baby.

As scary as it might be, the dentist isn’t your enemy and is there to help you suggest better medications to heal faster from the tooth extraction.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a good pain reliever and is approved for use for pregnant mothers during any time of the pregnancy. But only if medically recommended. Don’t take it for personal use.

Your dentist might also recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen if you’re in the first 30 weeks of your pregnancy.

Post extraction, you might face various issues and have doubts, like when to start eating solid food, which can be cleared with your dentist before going under treatment.

Tips for preventing dental issues

There are always ways to take better care of your oral health.

A pregnant woman is brushing her teeth regularly to make sure she has healthy teeth during her pregnancy

If you want to avoid landing up in your dentist’s chair for a reason such as a tooth extraction, you’ve to be active enough to take care of your teeth and gums.

Of course, brushing twice a day and flossing after dinner is a part of necessary dental care. But you’ve to be careful about other things during pregnancy.

Cravings are a part of this time, and having all those sugary foods plus food with carbohydrates is enough to create cavities and ruin your teeth.

Limiting such food, especially after dinner, is something you need to care for.

Amongst all the excitement about the baby’s arrival, don’t forget to schedule appointments with the dentist during pregnancy to keep your teeth and gums in check.

If an issue is detected early, it can be prevented from becoming severe enough to demand a tooth extraction.

FAQs

What’s the best medicine for toothache when pregnant?

Toothaches could mean different things and signify various dental issues.

Due to a change of hormones during pregnancy, a person is more prone to getting dental problems.

Since this time is sensitive enough, you can start eliminating foods and beverages that cause sensitivity or pain in your gums or teeth.

To get relief from pain and inflammation, you can take warm water and mix half a teaspoon of salt and try to gargle with this water.

Combined, warm water and salt help reduce pain and inflammation and heal your mouth.

You can try put relieve pain by applying a cold compress to your jaw. Tylenol is a recommended medicine for pregnancy as an over-the-counter medicine.

Can a tooth infection harm my unborn baby?

If you don’t take proper care, an infection in the teeth will cause pain and inflammation to your gums, causing stress and directly affecting your unborn baby.

An infection can be severe enough to cause you to have a fever, directly affecting your baby’s health.

How long after a tooth extraction will it stop hurting?

Tooth extraction requires a person to be able to handle the pain that follows it afterward.

This is one of the reasons dentists avoid doing this on pregnant women because of the care this procedure needs.

The pain lasts for one to three weeks and can last for months for someone. It especially becomes worse at night due to the sleeping position.

Laying down causes blood to rush to our heads, putting extra pressure on the sensitive area where the tooth is extracted.

Elevating your head by propping several pillows below your head can help provide relief as it prevents blood from pooling in your head and mouth. It improves circulation and decreases swelling.

To summarise

Getting ready for a tooth extraction during pregnancy is no easy task. In general, tooth extraction is a delicate process, and for a pregnant woman, it can become twice as difficult.

If the condition of your tooth is severe that you can’t seem to wait longer, getting the tooth extracted is favorable. Otherwise, try to postpone it until after you give birth. Usually, the dentist performs this dental activity in the second trimester.

Discussing the procedure and aftercare can help you clear your doubts and calm down a bit, but usually, it’s not something to stress over.

Try your best to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent the situation from worsening to needing a tooth extraction.

The Heart & Brain

We’re proud to be a team of writers who are truly passionate about all things health.

Coming together from all parts of the world, we share a common goal of helping serve many with our comprehensive research, and clear writing style. Learn more.