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Contraceptive pill

As a woman, you may already be aware of the many hormonal changes that occur throughout your life. These changes can affect your physical and emotional health in many ways, but did you know they can also impact your oral health? Birth control, in particular, can adversely affect your teeth and gums.

Are Hormonal Changes Impacting Your Oral Health?

Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can all cause changes to your oral health due to the fluctuation of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills, patches, and implants contain synthetic versions of these hormones, which can lead to a range of dental issues, including:

  • Periodontal tissue breakdown: Hormonal changes caused by birth control can lead to periodontal tissue breakdown, resulting in gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Plaque buildup: Birth control can increase the amount of plaque buildup on your teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay.
  • Gingival enlargement: Some women may experience gingival enlargement or an overgrowth of gum tissue, which can cause discomfort, difficulty speaking, and tooth loss.
  • Dry socket: Women who use birth control and undergo dental procedures that involve tooth extraction may be at an increased risk of developing dry socket. This painful secondary condition occurs when a blood clot fails to form in the socket.
  • Temporomandibular disorder: Hormonal changes caused by birth control can also lead to temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, which can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw joint.

Combat Risks With Good Oral Health

While hormonal changes caused by birth control can increase the risk of dental issues, good oral health habits can help combat these risks. Here are a few tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush twice daily: Brushing your teeth in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before bed with fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush can help eliminate bacteria and plaque, preventing cavities.
  • Floss daily: Flossing daily can help remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and gums. Ensure you are using the correct flossing technique and avoid snapping the floss down onto your gums which can cause bleeding and contribute to gum recession.
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent dental issues and catch any problems early. Professional cleaning is also the only way to remove built-up tartar that can cause gum disease.
  • Avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks: Foods and beverages high in acid and sugar can erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of cavities. If you consume sugary or acidic substances, rinse your mouth with fresh water afterward.
  • Be mindful of your birth control options: Some types of birth control, such as combined estrogen/progestin, may have fewer dental health risks than others. Speak to your doctor about which options may be best for you.

Contact Steger Smiles for a Check-Up

If you’re experiencing any dental issues or are concerned about the impact of birth control on your oral health, consult your dentist. They can provide you with personalized advice and treatment options to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Be proud of your smile.