June 20, 2023

What Should Pregnant Women Do If They Experience a Dental Emergency?

Pregnancy is a beautiful and transformative time in a woman’s life, but it can also come with its share of challenges. Dental emergencies can happen at any time, and it is important for pregnant women to be prepared and know how to handle them safely. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that pregnant women should take if they experience a dental emergency, emphasizing the importance of maintaining both oral health and the well-being of the baby.

Prioritize Communication with Healthcare Providers

When facing a dental emergency during pregnancy, it is crucial to communicate promptly with both your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) and dentist. Contact your OB/GYN to inform them about the situation, as they can provide guidance and ensure any necessary precautions are taken. Additionally, inform your dentist about your pregnancy and the emergency so they can tailor their approach accordingly.

Assess the Severity of the Situation

Evaluate the severity of the dental emergency to determine the necessary course of action. Some common dental emergencies include severe toothaches, knocked-out teeth, broken fillings, or abscesses. If the emergency involves intense pain, profuse bleeding, or a compromised airway, seek immediate medical attention. For less urgent issues, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Manage Pain and Discomfort

While waiting for dental care, there are steps you can take to alleviate pain and discomfort. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to reduce inflammation and soothe sore gums. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) are generally considered safe for pregnant women, but it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can also help numb the pain.

Address Dental Emergencies at Home

Some dental emergencies may be manageable at home until you can see a dentist. For a knocked-out tooth, handle it by the crown (top part) and rinse it gently with water. If possible, try reinserting the tooth into its socket and hold it in place by biting on a clean cloth. If reinsertion is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva and bring it to your dentist immediately.

In case of a loose filling, you can temporarily fill the cavity with a dental cement or sugar-free gum to protect the exposed area until you receive professional treatment. However, avoid using materials that could be toxic or cause harm.

Seek Dental Care from a Professional

Regardless of the severity of the dental emergency, it is crucial to seek professional dental care. Dentists are experienced in handling emergencies and can provide the appropriate treatment while considering your pregnancy. They may adjust their treatment plan, use alternative materials, or modify procedures to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.

During dental appointments, inform your dentist about your pregnancy, including how far along you are and any specific concerns or instructions from your OB/GYN. Dental x-rays should be avoided during pregnancy unless absolutely necessary, but if urgent, proper shielding can be used to minimize radiation exposure.


Experiencing a dental emergency during pregnancy can be worrisome, but by following the appropriate steps, pregnant women can ensure their oral health and the well-being of their baby are protected. Prompt communication with healthcare providers, evaluating the severity of the situation, managing pain, addressing emergencies at home when possible, and seeking professional dental care are all crucial elements in handling dental emergencies safely. By taking these measures, pregnant women can navigate dental emergencies with confidence, knowing they are doing their best to maintain their oral health and promote a healthy pregnancy.

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