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Does Birth Control Change Your Chances of Fighting Gum Disease?

Posted on 5/27/2017 by Implant & Periodontal Associates NW
A patient suffering from gum disease.
Hormones play an important part in regulating many of your body's processes. As a woman, you are susceptible to fluctuations in hormones several times throughout the course of your life.

Puberty, your monthly menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause all impact the levels of your hormones, which in turn impacts your body, including your oral health. But what about birth control pills?

Pregnancy and Oral Health

It is already well known that when you are pregnant, your hormones are very different from what they are under normal circumstances. And because of higher hormone levels, you are more susceptible to developing gum disease.

Gingivitis - red, swollen gums - is a common issue among pregnant women due to progesterone causing a more significant response to plaque. And, what's more, gum disease is linked to pre-term birth and low birthweight.

Birth Control
Birth control pills contain hormones to regulate your body's natural cycle, in order to help prevent pregnancy. However, these pills can also increase your chances of developing gum disease. Birth control pills change the amount of progesterone in your system. In doing so, you are susceptible to a couple of issues:

•  Changes in saliva production. Your saliva production decreases, which turns your mouth into a more conducive environment for bacterial growth.
•  Increased sensitivity in your gums. With higher progesterone levels, your gums become more sensitive to irritants including plaque and even food. This sensitivity increases your inflammatory response, which, in turn, leads to red, swollen gums.

Fighting Gum Disease

You already know the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing your teeth to help in the fight against gum disease. However, if you are taking birth control pills, sticking to this oral health regimen is especially important. It is also crucial that you visit your dentist for regular exams, during which time you should make it known that you are taking the pill, which will allow your dentist to better customize your care.

If you are concerned about gum disease while on a birth control pill, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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Kenmore, WA 98028

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