Common Analgesics

Dental pain originating from infections or extensive carious lesions can be severe. Definitive dental care should be arranged as soon as possible, but short-term interim pain management may be needed.  The following analgesics are appropriate to use during pregnancy, with caution:

  • Acetaminophen
    • Preferred medication for pain during pregnancy
  • Ibuprofen
    • Avoid in first trimester because of associations with increased rate of miscarriage
    • Avoid after 20 weeks gestation due to risk of renal dysfunction in the fetus and resultant oligohydramnios with attendant complications (FDA, 2020) and risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus after 30 weeks
  • Oxycodone, Hydrocodone & Codeine
    • Avoid or limit dose and duration in third trimester due to risk of newborn opioid withdrawal and respiratory suppression if given close to delivery


FDA recommends avoiding use of NSAIDs in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they
can result in low amniotic fluid. FDA Safety Communication. 10-15-2020. 

Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Evidence Guidelines for Health Professionals. California Dental Association Foundation. 2010.

Motherisk. Toronto, Ontario, Canada at (Included referencing National Collaborative Perinatal Project, 1959-1974, Record Group 443, National Institutes of Health.)

Hilgers KK, Douglass JM, Mathieu GP. Adolescent Pregnancy: A Review of Dental Treatment Guidelines. Pediatr Dent 2003;25:459-467.

Care During Pregnancy and Early Childhood Practice Guidelines. New York Public Health Department 2006

US Food and Drug Administration Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Final Rule

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup. 2012. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement-Summary of an Expert Workgroup Meeting. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

Briggs GC, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation, Ninth Edition.  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA 2011.