Root Canal during Pregnancy – Risks and Best Strategies

Root Canal during Pregnancy - Risks and Best Strategies

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Pregnancy brings immense joy in your life and it may bring along various health concerns as well. This is because your pregnancy hormones take a toll on your immune system and the compromised immunity makes you more prone to illnesses and infections. Though minor gum or teeth problems are common in pregnancy sometimes more serious dental issues crop up like dental cavities which may require root canal treatment. If you have concerns regarding getting a root canal treatment in pregnancy then you should read the following article to know more about root canal treatment in pregnancy.

Is Root Canal Treatment Safe in Pregnancy

Pregnancy may make you more susceptible to infections but it does not mean that pregnancy causes any of these problems. If you already have dental issues or you are prone to dental problems then these problems may aggravate in pregnancy. Some aggravated dental issues may require immediate medical attention such as a root canal treatment. But can you get a root canal while pregnant? Root canal treatment does not pose serious threat or risk to you or your baby but before you consider this treatment, you should know about the possible risks associated with it.

Risks Associated with Root Canal while Pregnant

Here are some risks involved with root canal treatment in pregnancy:

1. The Effect of X-Ray

In order to have a comprehensive view of your cavity, your doctor will require you to undergo an X-ray of the infected tooth. Though any X-ray exposure is not recommended in pregnancy the dental X-ray radiations do not pose any risk to your unborn baby. The radiations are localized to your mouth only and not the abdominal region. More than the X-ray it is the medicines that are used in the process and later given for healing, which may cause more harm to your baby.

2. The Effects of Anaesthesia

It is not possible to do a root canal treatment without the anaesthesia. The doctor usually gives a very small dosage of it and may give more if required. However, it is the pain that is experienced during the process that may cause stress to the pregnant woman, may become a cause for concern. Any kind of unnecessary stress in pregnancy is not good your unborn baby.

3. The Effects of Other Chemicals

Your doctor may make use of various cleaning chemicals during the root canal treatment and also use other chemical material for the filling of the tooth. Both these chemicals usually are not detrimental to the foetal health and well-being.

4. The Effects of Antibiotics

You will be prescribed a course of antibiotic medicine after your root canal treatment is over. This medicine is given to take care of the healing and negate the possibility of any infection getting caused due to the treatment.

Risks of Avoiding or Postponing Root Canal during Pregnancy

If you are thinking of postponing the root canal treatment, you should reconsider. This is because the problems associated with not getting the treatment are much higher than getting the treatment done. Here are some problems that you may face if you plan to postpone your treatment:

1. The Infection May Spread

The tooth that requires the root canal treatment is already infected and if you delay the treatment the infection may increase and spread to other teeth or gums also. This may lead to more problems and complications.

2. There’ll be Prolonged Intense Pain

Untreated tooth cavity can cause severe pain and distress to an expecting mother. Constant pain and discomfort may cause stress and such condition may cause adverse effects on your baby too.

Woman using ice-pack for tooth ache

Best Strategies to do Root Canal when Pregnant

Your dentist may recommend the following options to you or suggest some of the following strategies for the root canal treatment during pregnancy:

  • The first trimester is a crucial period of pregnancy. If any dental problem is observed during this time, your doctor may recommend postponing it until you start off with your second trimester.
  • Once you are in your second trimester, your doctor may recommend getting an X-ray of the infected tooth and start the root canal treatment. However, if root canal while pregnant 3rd trimester is required, your doctor may recommend postponed it till the birth of your baby.

Though a root canal treatment is a very safe procedure it is very important that on your first visit itself you should mention it to your doctor that you are pregnant. This makes your dentist more aware of your condition and helps him make the best possible treatment strategy for you.

Tips to Prevent Root Canal

Any kind of medical procedure can be daunting for an expecting mother and thus the best way to deal with is to avoid getting into such situations. We shall discuss some tips that may help you to avoid or prevent getting a root canal treatment during pregnancy:

  • The first and foremost thing that you can do to prevent any kind of dental infection is by keeping a good dental hygiene. Stick to your dental hygiene schedule and brush and floss twice daily to keep dental problems at bay.
  • Avoid eating food items with high sugar content. Foods that have more sugar content are the main reasons for a dental cavity. If you have the urge or craving to eat them, then you should brush your teeth after eating sugary food.
  • It is also seen that pregnancy hormones may affect your dental health. You should visit your dentist on regular basis to get your teeth and gums checked. Regular dental check-ups reduce your chances of having any infections or cavities and thus reduce your chances of getting any root canal treatment.

Keep yourself healthy during pregnancy for the better growth and development of your unborn baby, this includes taking care of your dental issues as well. It is recommended not to take any of your dental issues lightly and as soon as you notice any problem you should get in touch with your doctor. Timely treatment and medical intervention can save you from any severe problems or complications that may arise.

Also Read: Home Remedies for Tooth Pain and Bleeding Gums in Pregnancy