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How Soon Can I Have a Tooth Extraction After Giving Birth?

You can certainly have your tooth extracted if you've already given birth to your child. The postponement for elective surgical procedures was to avoid doing it during pregnancy.


Since you have already delivered the baby, you are well beyond that postponement period. Therefore you are clear to have that tooth pulled in case you were waiting for it.


Extraction with stitches
Extraction with stitches

If you wanted reassurance, the ACOG's guideline for non-obstetric surgery during pregnancy states that elective surgeries need only wait until after giving birth. Since you were able to wait until birthing your newborn child, we're assuming that it was for an elective procedure. Perhaps the tooth was broken but it wasn't causing you any pain.


However, you may be curious as to whether there is a certain time period that you need to wait before getting that tooth pulled or could you do it immediately?


Waiting period for extractions after giving birth

There is technically no "waiting period" before you're eligible to have your tooth taken out. You can do it immediately afterwards BUT we wouldn't recommend it. It's not because you can't do it but it is more so for your own comfort.


According to womenshealth, the first few days post-partum are meant for rest and recovery.


Recommendation for new mothers:

  • Limit visitors which includes family and friends as much as possible and focus on recovering.

  • Don't move around too much.

  • Ask for as much help as possible.

  • Let others do the cleaning, laundry, and cooking.

  • Your dentist is not an exception to that rule.


With that in mind, if you're already having a tough time recovering from giving birth it may not be the best idea to have another surgical procedure immediately afterwards such as an extraction. That can put a lot of additional stress on the weakened body.


Taking all of that into consideration, we would have to say that you should wait until you feel better before moving forward with pulling the tooth. There is no harm in waiting if it is not bothering you at the moment.


However, if it is an emergency, you may be forced to act sooner. A raging toothache is counterproductive to rest and recovery since it can literally prevent you from sleeping sometimes!


Recovering after giving birth

New mothers not only have to take care of their baby but also their own body. Here are some of the changes which may be happening that you need to recover from.

  • Physical changes. Vaginal discharge called lochia; swelling in the legs and feet; constipation; cramping; post-partum thyroiditis

  • Regaining a healthy weight and shape. You'll immediately lose about 10 lbs from giving birth.

  • Feeling blue. Possible "baby blues" and post-partum depression are possibilities.


It took your body nine months to grow a baby until it is ready to come into the world. Your body is not going to return back to normal immediately afterwards. Of course it will take time!


Emergency extractions don't need to wait until giving birth

In case you're currently pregnant but thinking that you need to wait until delivering the baby to have an extraction, we're here to tell you that you don't have to wait. You can in fact have an urgent or emergency tooth extraction at any point during your pregnancy. Yes, that means you can do it during the first trimester, second, and even third trimester.


According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has a guideline for oral health care during pregnancy, you should not delay necessary dental treatment. If you're in pain you should have it treated and addressed promptly because if you don't, it'll only cause further complications down the road.


Here is the exact quote from their guideline:

Inform women that conditions that require immediate treatment, such as extractions, root canals, and restoration (amalgam or composite) of untreated caries, may be managed at any time during pregnancy. Delaying treatment may result in more complex problems.

That is straight from the ACOG so you should now KNOW that it is OKAY to have that tooth pulled if you needed it. You do not have to wait until after giving birth to do it.


If you think about it, it makes sense because if you hold off on a toothache that is causing you pain it will only make things worse. When you're constantly in pain, it raises the stress hormones and that can potentially affect the baby.


Yes, the stress may increase during the extraction but it'll only be for a day. If you don't remove that tooth you'll be with constant stress for the entirety of the pregnancy. The latter is significantly worse than the former.


So stop waiting and schedule an appointment with your dentist for that extraction. Also just in case you were wondering, the same principles apply to having your wisdom tooth extracted while you're pregnant.

Takeaway

You can potentially have that tooth pulled right after giving birth if it is hurting you a lot. However, if it is not really bothering you it may be better to hold off on it. The reason isn't that you're unable to do it but rather it would be more comfortable for you since you're still recovering from giving birth. That entire process can take a toll on your body since you could be in labor for many hours.



Your body is currently in a weakened state and needs to recover as it is. If you add in a tooth extraction on top of that, it'll only put more stress and add onto the recovery time. Therefore it may be in your best interest to wait until you feel like you've recovered most of your strength and health before undertaking this additional procedure.


With that being said, if you do have a raging toothache right after birthing your baby, you may be forced to have it taken out despite your situation. It makes no sense to be suffering through pain and it really doesn't help you.


Hopefully that clarifies everything about how soon you can have your tooth extraction after giving birth. The aftercare for an extraction remains the same regardless of your pregnancy status. Don't forget to consult your doctor for extra clarity. It always helps to hear it in person.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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