Women across the country use birth control to avoid pregnancy or regulate hormones. What you may not know is that birth control can have an impact on a woman's oral health. The following are some things you may want to know:
Birth Control and Oral Health
Birth control comes in a variety of forms at different hormonal levels. Birth control is used in different ways to change a woman's hormones to provide a certain outcome. Each type of birth control method has different types of side effects, which can include impacts on oral health.
Birth control causes hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, to change. As these changes take place, women may experience some symptoms that are synonymous with gum disease, such as red, swollen gums. The change in hormones causes the gums to be more sensitive than usual, which results in inflammation. The change in hormones can also cause a different reaction when it contacts bacteria in the mouth, typically found in plaque.
Additional Oral Health Issues Impacted by Birth Control
When combined with other factors, there are some additional issues you may experience when it comes to your oral health. The length of time you have taken birth control is one factor. Your chance of hormonal reactions to your oral health increases the longer you are on birth control. If you smoke along with taking birth control, you could experience blood clotting not only where your oral health is concerned, but throughout the rest of your body. When you smoke while taking birth control, you can experience a painful dry socket when you have a tooth extracted. You may also experience increased blood loss during a dental procedure. If you take other medication, your birth control can interact with it, preventing the medication from working as well as it should. This includes any medication for oral health prescribed by a dentist.
Minimizing Birth Control Impacts on Oral Health
You may experience some impacts on your oral health due to birth control use, but you can greatly reduce your symptoms by implementing a healthy, comprehensive dental hygiene routine. You should brush and floss at least twice daily. You should always see your dentist for your regular cleanings and go to all follow-up appointments for any additional treatment you need.
You can also implement some changes to your lifestyle, such as reducing your intake of sugar or drinking alcohol. If you smoke, you should consider a smoking cessation program to help you quit. A healthy diet and a lot of water are also great for your oral health.
Consult with your dentist to learn more about the effects of birth control on your oral health.