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  • Home Knowledge Center Dental Work While Pregnant

    Dental Work While Pregnant

    When you’re pregnant, continuing to get dental care is important for both you and the health of your baby. Find out how pregnancy can affect your dental health, why you should continue to see your dentist while pregnant, and how you can safely get the dental care you need.

    Can I go to the dentist while pregnant?

    Yes, it is safe to go to the dentist while you’re pregnant. In fact, routine dental exams and teeth cleanings can help keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy so you can avoid common dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

    How does pregnancy affect oral health?

    Pregnancy increases the hormones in your body. Hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can affect oral health. Here are some common dental health problems and symptoms you might experience during pregnancy:

    • Increased risk for gum disease, including gingivitis
    • Tooth decay related to acid from morning sickness
    • Painful or swollen gums
    • Bleeding gums
    • Bad breath

    Some pregnant women experience no change at all in their oral health. For others, sensitivities arise, and dental problems can worsen.

    If you experience any of these dental problems during pregnancy, talk to your dentist, doctor, or obstetrician (OB).

    Need dental coverage?

    Cigna HealthcareSM offers a variety of affordable dental plans, from basic plans that cover preventive care to plans that help cover major dental care.
    Explore our dental plans

    Does tooth decay affect pregnancy? 

    There is research that shows women with gum disease may be at greater risk of giving birth to a baby that is preterm or has a low birth weight.1 Tooth decay can lead to gum disease. That’s why it’s important to continue to go to the dentist while you’re pregnant and get your routine dental exams and teeth cleanings.

    Do you need to tell your dentist you’re pregnant? 

    Before you visit the dentist, be sure to let them know you’re pregnant and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Depending on the dental work you need, your dentist and provider will help decide what kind of dental care is right for your trimester.

    Is there any dental work you should avoid while pregnant? 

    Generally, it is considered safe for you to have dental work done at any time during pregnancy.2 That said there are a few types of dental work that your dentist, OB, or provider might recommend you avoid. Those include any type of cosmetic dental treatment and oral surgeries that aren’t urgent or needed to maintain your health.  

    Routine dental exams and teeth cleanings should continue as scheduled unless your dentist or provider tell you differently. Always ask your doctor before planning any dental work and make sure your dentist and their staff are aware you’re pregnant. They can also advise you on the best treatment for your needs.

    What types of dental work are safe while pregnant? 

    Here are some of the most asked questions about the safety of certain kinds of dental procedures:

    Is dental anesthesia safe during pregnancy? 

    Dentists can choose from a variety of anesthesia options and medications to use. Local anesthesia with epinephrine (such as bupivacaine, lidocaine, and mepivacaine) is considered to be safe during pregnancy.3

    Can you get dental x-rays while pregnant? 

    These steps may include covering your abdomen with a lead apron as well as covering your throat with a thyroid collar.

    Can you get a root canal while pregnant? 

    Yes. Root canals are performed by an endodontist, which is a type of dentist. Root canal procedures are usually done to treat infection and inflammation in the pulp of a tooth, which can impact your health and possibly the health of your unborn child. Having a root canal could also mean you need additional dental work, such as a crown. It’s important to talk to your dentist to see if a root canal while pregnant is right for you.

    Can you get a cavity filled while pregnant? 

    Yes, and if you need local anesthesia for pain that is generally considered safe, too. Learn more about your cavity risk assessment with our quiz.

    Can you get your teeth cleaned while pregnant? 

    You should continue to get routine dental work even when pregnant. This includes regular teeth cleanings. When you’re pregnant your body produces hormones that can actually affect your oral health, so seeing your dentist regularly is important.

    Make sure you tell your dentist you are pregnant. They can recommend what may or may not be right for you, and they can work directly with your provider or OB to ensure you’re getting correct dental care at any point during pregnancy.

    What are the dangers of dental work while pregnant? 

    Most dental work is safe during pregnancy. The benefits of seeing a dentist and getting proper dental care outweigh the risks.

    There are some dental procedures (such as teeth whitening) that are not recommended while pregnant. There are also medications and antibiotics (such as tetracycline) that are not prescribed to pregnant patients due to potential impact on the baby.

    How can I take care of my dental health during pregnancy? 

    Follow these tips to help maintain a healthy mouth while pregnant:2

    • Focus on eating a balanced diet.
    • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
    • Floss daily.
    • Rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a glass of water to counteract the effect of stomach acid on your teeth, due to morning sickness with vomiting.
    • See your dentist for routine cleanings and exams.

    Remember, dental health during pregnancy is important. Your dentist and your obstetrician can help determine what dental care you need depending on your trimester.


  • Maternity
  • 1 Pregnancy and Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2022,

    2 Dental health during pregnancy, American Dental Association, 2023,

    3 Pregnancy, American Dental Association, June 2023,

    4 X-Rays During Pregnancy, American Pregnancy Association, 2023,


    American Dental Association,

    March of Dimes,

    National Library of Medicine,

    This information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations.

    Product availability may vary by location and plan type and is subject to change. All dental insurance policies contain exclusions and limitations. For costs and details of coverage, review your plan documents or contact your Dental representative from Cigna HealthcareSM.

    Cigna Healthcare products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna GroupSM, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company and Cigna Dental Health, Inc. In Texas, the Dental plan is known as Cigna Dental Choice, and this plan uses the national Cigna DPPO Advantage network.

    This page is not intended for use in OH, OK, UT, and WV.

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