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, you should read the following article to know more about it.
Is Root Canal Treatment Safe in Pregnancy
Pregnancy may make you more susceptible to infections, but it does not mean that it 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 root canal treatment. But can you get a root canal while pregnant? Root canal treatment does not pose a serious threat 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 Treatment During Pregnancy
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 the unborn baby. However, it is still advised to take necessary measures, like using a lead apron and thyroid collar for the pregnant patient to cover any risk at all even if the radiations are localised to the mouth only and not the abdominal region. Also, 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
Anaesthesia is not required in all root canal procedures and might vary from case to case. When required, the doctor usually gives a very small dosage of it and may opt to give more if the need arises. It is the pain experienced during the process that may cause stress to the pregnant woman. And, that stress may become a cause for concern because any kind of unnecessary stress in pregnancy is not good for 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.
Many times, pregnant women postpone treatments thinking they might harm the child growing in their wombs. Some treatments can be postponed with proper medical guidance, but that cannot be said for a number of conditions that need immediate medical attention. Let’s take a look at the risk factors of postponing root canal during pregnancy, and some steps you can take with your dentist to treat it or manage it.
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. 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 a condition may cause adverse effects on your baby, too.
Best Strategies to do Root Canal During Pregnancy
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 a root canal is required in the 3rd trimester, 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 you inform your dentist about your pregnancy. The dentist can then prepare 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 it is to prevent them. We shall discuss some tips that may help you 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 maintaining 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 dental cavities. If you have the urge or craving to eat them, 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 a regular basis to get your teeth and gums checked. Regular dental check-ups reduce your chances of having any infections or cavities and thus can help prevent 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 dentist. Timely treatment and medical intervention can save you from any severe problems or complications that may arise.