While considering birth control options, it’s unlikely that one of the things crossing your mind is the effect it will have on your oral health. It may thus surprise you to learn that speaking to your dentist about your birth control choices may be a good idea. Most forms of birth control for women involve a hormonal element that can have significant effects on your oral health. This means that it’s important to discuss your birth control choices with your dentist so you can prepare for any potential oral health concerns that may result from influencing your hormonal balance.
How Your Oral Health Is Affected By Changing Hormonal Levels
It’s been understood by dental medicine that hormonal changes can have deleterious effects on a woman’s oral health. Among the most common side-effects experienced are gum-disease-like symptoms caused by inflammation resulting from hormonal changes. This means that you may experience puffy gums, bleeding, and similar symptoms as your hormones change through the month. When you’re taking oral birth control, you may experience these same sorts of symptoms as a result.
The Hormone Connection Between Oral Health and Birth Control
As mentioned above, the majority of birth control options rely on hormone adjustments to produce the desired effect. The same hormonal changes that occur in your body every month are exploited by the addition of progesterone and estrogen to convince your body not to become pregnant. This influence results in hormonal fluctuations that can produce the symptoms we talked about earlier. As birth control technology advanced, lower levels of progesterone and estrogen are included, reducing the prevalence of these side effects. That being said, they never disappear completely and are still something that has to be considered as part of your family planning.
Other Factors To Consider With Birth Control and Oral Health
In addition to the effects listed above, other effects on oral health have been noticed when birth control is used alongside other factors. Among these is smoking. Tobacco use increases the risk of blood clots and dry socket following an extraction. The addition of birth control with this vice increases the likelihood that these symptoms will develop. There’s also an increased risk of gum disease symptoms with extended use of birth control, as well as the development of actual gum disease. This is just one more factor to consider when taking control of your family planning options.
This guide indicates only a few of the myriad of things that those taking birth control have to consider in terms of their oral health. Sweetbay Family Dentistry is dedicated to patient education on these and other topics, so if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Drs. Jennifer Yau and Lawrence Hand are ready to help provide you the guidance you need to make responsible choices for your family planning needs as pertains to your oral health. We look forward to greeting you at our Pasadena, MD location and welcoming you to join our patient family.