If you are pregnant, many dental and medical procedures are best avoided because of the danger to your growing baby. Root canal therapy is one of those, due to the necessity of X-rays. If you are very uncomfortable, however, talk to your endodontist as well as your obstetrician about your options.
Why Avoid a Root Canal During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, it’s very important to avoid any situations that could harm your baby. Dentists and doctors both recommend against having X-rays during pregnancy, especially in the early stages when fetal growth is the most rapid. Root canal therapy requires X-rays to guide the files that are used to remove the infected pulp from the tooth’s interior. There is also some possibility that anesthetic or sedation could be harmful. Therefore, as a general rule, it’s best to avoid this procedure if you are pregnant.
Sometimes, though, the discomfort is severe enough, or the infection is advanced enough that it’s better to go ahead with the procedure. If left untreated, an infection in the tooth pulp can spread into the bones of the jaw and face, into the sinuses, and even into the brain. So you, your endodontist, and your obstetrician should discuss the risks and determine whether or not to go ahead with root canal therapy.
Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes numerous challenges, and maintaining your oral health is one of them. You should continue to brush and floss as normal, but you might notice more bleeding from your gums than usual. You are more susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease during pregnancy, so if bleeding persists, talk to your dentist. If you experience extreme sensitivity, swelling, or a persistent toothache, you might require the services of our endodontist.
Keep up with your regular dental appointments, but be sure to tell the dentist that you are pregnant so you can avoid exposure to X-rays. If you have any concerns or questions about how to take care of your teeth while you’re pregnant, be sure to ask for guidance and call our friendly team!