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Remedies I Used for Toothaches While Pregnant: What Worked and What Didn't

I have tried multiple remedies for tooth pain but have only found one that works the best and is safe for most people.

Visiting your dentist is the surest way to relieve your tooth pain.

Visiting your dentist is the surest way to relieve your 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 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.

A dental cavity with some discoloration.

A dental cavity with some discoloration.

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: Pros and Cons

RemedyHow to UseProsConsSafe while pregnant?

Sensodyne (maximum strength)

Brush using a soft toothbrush whenever you feel pain.

Works better than all the rest. Relieves pain for days if you use it continuously. Can be used while pregnant.

$4.95 for a tube at Walmart (rather expensive for toothpaste, but well-worth it).

Yes

Tylenol (extra strength)

Take two pills orally.

You can take Tylenol while you are pregnant.

It simply doesn't work.

Yes

Ibuprofen

Take two pills orally.

This is an anti-inflammatory drug, so it helps reduce swelling. Pain relief is quicker and is sustained.

Not recommended, especially during the third trimester, because it may cause heart defects in the unborn.

No

Crushed aspirin (BC powder)

Apply directly to the 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. Leaves a disgusting taste in your mouth. Not recommended to take while pregnant.

Yes, only at doctor recommended doses. Do not take continuously.

Anbesol/Orajel

Apply with a swab directly on the 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.

Yes

Percocet

Take as prescribed by your doctor.

Guaranteed to relieve pain.

Should not be taken over long periods of time since it contains the addictive opioid oxycodone.

Yes, only at doctor recommended doses. Do not take continuously.

Listerine/peroxide

Rinse for 30 seconds to a minute.

It takes the pain away for a few minutes

Reprieve doesn't last long; must use continuously.

Yes

Clove oil

Apply with a swab directly to the gum area of the 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.

Yes, as long as you are not ingesting.

Remedies That I've Tried

What worked:

Personally, I can vouch that two 800 mg ibuprofens work miracles, but you're not supposed to take ibuprofen while pregnant because it can cause heart defects in the unborn child.

Percocet also works fairly well, but you must have a prescription for that, and you shouldn't take it while you're pregnant.

What didn't work:

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.

Those topical, over-the-counter drugs, such as Anbesol and Orajel do not work either, and they leave a disgusting taste in your mouth.

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. While one-time use won't harm the baby, continued use is not recommended.

Clove oil was a complete waste of money for me. It didn't work at all, but some people swear by it.

The Best Toothache Remedy

Sensodyne toothpaste is what I use. For about $4.95 at Wal-Mart, you can manage your pain until you can see your dentist. It is also safe to use while pregnant!

Sensodyne toothpaste is what I use. For about $4.95 at Wal-Mart, you can manage your pain until you can see your dentist. It is also safe to use while pregnant!

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, and the pain went away. But 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, use Sensodyne for a peace of mind and a harmless reprieve for pain while you wait.

Disclaimer

I am not a healthcare professional. This article is for informational purposes only. Please speak with your doctor or dentist before beginning any treatment.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Jessica B Smith

Comments

Jessica B Smith (author) from Sanford, NC on May 18, 2015:

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: http://www.babycenter.com/404_is-it-safe-to-take-a...

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