Pregnant With a Toothache

Updated on February 15, 2017
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Jessica is a North Carolina native and Tarheels fan by marriage. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English.


Suffering From Tooth Pain

All my life, I have suffered from cavities and severe tooth pain. Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid brusher and flosser, but I absolutely abhor going to the dentist. One bad experience at a young age traumatized me, and since becoming an adult I've been to the dentist only about three times—all three times to get teeth extracted. I've had countless, horrifying experiences with abscessed teeth and exposed nerves, and if you've never suffered from this, then thank God for your blessings.

I couldn't speak. I was too afraid to. . . . It felt like a live power line wire was jumping inside my tooth . . . shooting jolts of white, sharp pain through my face.

My Horrifying Experience While Pregnant

So there I was, sitting on the couch, seven months pregnant and ready to annihilate a bag of nacho cheese Doritos. I opened my mouth wide, jammed the delicious orange triangle inside, took one deeply satisfying crunch and, "AHHHHHH!"

That's what happened. I screamed. And dropped my bag of beloved chips, one hand clamped firmly over my mouth. With wide worried eyes, my husband asked what happened. I couldn't speak. I was too afraid to. Deep inside a cavity that had been bothering me for about a month now, it felt like a live power line wire was jumping inside my tooth, sporadically, without warning, shooting jolts of white, sharp pain through my face. At seven months pregnant and without dental insurance, what could I possibly do??

Toothache Remedies - Upside, Downside

How to Use
Sensodyne (maximum strength)
brush with toothpaste & soft toothbrush whenever you feel pain
Works better than all the rest. Takes pain away for days if you use it continuously. Can be used by pregnant women w/o worry
$4.95 for a tube at Walmart (rather on the costly side for toothpaste, but well-worth it)
Tylenol (extra strength)
orally take 2 pills
You can take Tylenol while you are pregnant.
It simply doesn't work. Have to nearly overdose just to get pain to subside for a few minutes.
orally take 2 pills
This is an inflammatory drug, so it helps reduce swelling; pain tends to subside quicker and stay gone longer
Prescription strength (800mg) tends to work better than OTC (200 mg). Also, not a good idea to take while pregnant. Can cause heart defects in child
crushed aspirin (bc powder)
apply directly to cavity
It takes the pain away for 1-2 hours.
It is an acid so placing it directly on the tooth can cause burning to the gums. Can cause more damage than good. Leaves a disgusting taste in your mouth.
apply with swab directly to cavity
Sometimes temporarily relieves the pain (for a few minutes)
Usually does not work. Numbs the gum and tongue but does not numb the pain in the tooth. Can be quite messy. Tastes disgusting.
Percocet (other prescription strength pain relievers)
take orally
Must have prescription
rinse mouth
It takes the pain away for a few minutes
Reprieve doesn't last long; must use continuously
Herbal Remedies (clove oil)
apply with swab directly to gum area of affected tooth
Can be used by pregnant/breastfeeding women. Some people swear that it works.
For me, it didn't work at all. Has an unpleasant taste and if taken in large quantities, can cause liver/respiratory problems.
Perhaps you have tried some of the remedies and can attest to the ups and downs of each.

The Remedies That Don't Work

Now, mind you, I've already explained that I have quite an extensive background with tooth pain. From my experience, I have learned that Tylenol does not work (and that is the only pain medication you are allowed to take if you are pregnant). Personally, I can vouch that two 800mg ibuprofens work miracles, but you're not supposed to take ibuprofen while pregnant because it can cause heart defects to the unborn child. Those topical OTC drugs, such as Anbesol and Orajel do not work either, and they leave a disgusting taste in your mouth. Percocet works fairly well, but you must have a prescription for that, and you can't take it while you're pregnant. Allowing an aspirin or a pack of BC powder to dissolve directly on the tooth works to a certain degree, but 1) it tastes absolutely disgusting; 2) it's rather messy; and 3) it can severely burn your gums because it is an acid. Clove oil was a complete waste of money for me. Didn't work at all, but some people swear by it.

So what is the remedy, the absolute best remedy, only coming second to seeing the dentist himself?

Drumroll please...

A remedy that works, even for pregnant/breastfeeding moms...

Maximum Strength Sensodyne Toothpaste

picture of the toothpaste that I use, only $4.95 at Wal-mart
picture of the toothpaste that I use, only $4.95 at Wal-mart | Source

It Really Works!

After surfing the internet and finding many individuals on different websites who ardently vouched for maximum strength Sensodyne toothpaste, I decided to give it a try. I was very dubious, but I was also very desperate. As I drove to the local Walmart and browsed the oral care section, I thought, "Puh-lease. This is too easy. It can't possibly work. How can toothpaste take away the live wire pain in my mouth?"

I brushed in the car. By the time I made it home (30 minutes later), the toothache had returned. I brushed in the bathroom. By the time I got ready to go to bed (five hours later), the toothache had returned. I brushed again. About two days later, the toothache returned. I brushed again. A week later, it felt like the toothache was returning, so I brushed yet again.

It's been over a month and a half since that ill-fated day and I still haven't popped a single Tylenol or been to the dentist. (I'm waiting until I give birth so they can put me to sleep, pull the darn thing, and be done with it!)

If you are pregnant, lacking dental insurance, or dealing with an overnight or over-the-weekend toothache that forces you to wait until the dentist office reopens, then this is the solution for you! It doesn't take the place of an actual dental visit and you should still go see a dentist as soon as you can. But in the meantime and in between time, use Sensodyne for a peace of mind and a harmless reprieve for pain while you wait.

Sensodyne doesn't take the place of an actual dental visit, and you should still go see a dentist as soon as you can.

Toothache Home Remedy Poll

Out of the different toothache home remedies listed in the table above, which works best for you?

See results

© 2013 Jessica Barrow


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    • jessicabsmith profile image

      Jessica Barrow 2 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      Thandie, I'm no doctor, but if you took 2 aspirin, I doubt that your baby is any grave danger. However, continual use of aspirin during pregnancy has been linked to several different pregnancy complications. So my suggestion to you is to just use Tylenol. For your toothache, continual use of Sensodyne is like a miracle cure until you can get to the dentist. You can read more about aspirin and pregnancy by clicking here:

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      thandie 2 years ago

      im pregnant and i hv a toothache i mistakely drank 2asprin .. N my mom tell me to stop takin it cs it dangerous.. m scared nw cs iv already took ds pills is my bby in danger?