Risk of Periodontitis with Birth Control Pills
The majority of women use oral contraceptives at some point during their lives. Oral contraceptives can help women reduce painful or heavy periods, better plan reproduction, improve skin tone and offer other health benefits. However, they may also have some drawbacks, according to researchers at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Our North Hollywood dentist explains.
A study performed on nearly 100 women examined oral bacteria and yeast. More than 40 of the women were on birth control pills. The women using oral contraceptives were more likely to suffer from severe periodontitis, a form of gum disease that has been linked to breast cancer, pregnancy complications, tooth loss and osteoporosis. Women who smoked and used oral contraceptives were twice as likely to develop severe periodontitis as the control group.
The hormones in oral contraceptives have been linked to an increased risk of gingival inflammation. Although newer forms of contraceptives have lower hormone levels, they can still trigger gum infections. Women who have been using oral contraceptives for a longer period of time may also be more likely to experience gum problems associated with their use.
If you use oral contraceptives, being aware of the link can help you ensure better dental health. Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. See our dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Swelling, inflammation, bleeding or chronic bad breath may indicate the presence of gum disease. Contact our North Hollywood periodontist for an evaluation and treatment plan.
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