If you’re expecting, you may have questions about dental work, like root canals.

Here’s some information to help keep your mouth healthy and your baby safe.

Yes, a root canal is safe during pregnancy

The American Dental Association (ADA) and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that root canals can be safely performed during pregnancy. Local anesthetics (with or without epinephrine) and antibiotics such as penicillin and amoxicillin are approved for use as well. Radiographs (X-rays) can also be performed, as long as abdominal and thyroid shielding are used when the radiographs are taken.1

How pregnancy can affect your dental health

Changes in your body and behaviors can affect dental health in the following ways:2

  • Increased levels of certain hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, can increase your risk of oral health problems.
  • Your gums may be more sensitive than usual, which may cause you to floss and brush less.
  • Your eating habits may be different, and some new foods may be bad for your teeth.
  • If you’re vomiting due to morning sickness or other causes, your teeth may be exposed to excess stomach acid that can harm the enamel.

Pregnancy can increase your risk for the following dental problems:

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth erosion
  • Gum disease

Dental care tips while pregnant

Follow these tips to maintain and improve good dental health:3

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) that you’re pregnant.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all the drugs you’re taking.
  • Check with your obstetrician for any special dental instructions or precautions.
  • Go to all dental checkup appointments.
  • Postpone elective dental procedures until after delivery.
  • Pay attention to any changes in your gums.
  • Avoid sugary snacks.

Humana can help with root canals

If you need root canal treatment, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with affordable monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana dental insurance page.

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  1. “Oral Health Topics: Pregnancy,” American Dental Association, last accessed August 31, 2021, https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/pregnancy.
  2. “Dental Health During Pregnancy,” March of Dimes, last accessed August 31, 2021, https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/dental-health-during-pregnancy.aspx.
  3. “Dental Care and Pregnancy,” WebMD, last accessed August 31, 2021, https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy#1.