Dental Treatment during Pregnancy- Is It Safe?

The short answer is yes! But we know you, our patients, appreciate being well informed. Read on to get the facts about dental treatment during pregnancy.

Oral Health during Pregnancy

Did you know that during pregnancy, one has an increased risk of gingivitis and cavities? This is due to varying factors.

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that is caused by a build-up of bacteria. It is often due to poor oral hygiene. However, according to The American Dental Association, while pregnant, “Gingivitis may result from hormonal changes that exaggerate the response to bacteria in the gum tissue.”
  • Cavities: Risk of cavities is often higher when pregnant because of changes in diet. It is common knowledge that pregnancy can cause cravings of foods not normally eaten and as a result, these foods can increase risk of cavities. In addition, too much acidity in the mouth from vomiting can weaken enamel and cause cavities.

As you can see, daily oral care is especially important while pregnant. Remember too, the health of your mouth can affect your overall health, and therefore the health of your baby! Do not hesitate to schedule a cleaning at your dentist. This is recognized as safe dental treatment during pregnancy.


If you have a dental emergency such as extractions, root canals or restorations, Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that these can be safely performed during pregnancy. In fact, putting off such treatment can result in worsening conditions. You may wonder however, are the anesthetics used during these procedures safe while pregnant? Local anesthetics with epinephrine (e.g., bupivacaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine) may be safely used during pregnancy but sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide, has been shown to present risks.


Most all dental procedures and check-ups require some form of x-ray or radiograph. Good news! These are shown to present no risk to a pregnant patient as long as abdominal and thyroid shielding is used.


In summary, always consult the professional advice of an obstetrician and dentist when proceeding with dental treatment during pregnancy. The Rancho Dental staff is happy to answer all of your questions!