The decision on when to have kids looms large in our society, and birth control is one option that allows the user to have a little more control over when their family grows larger. There are a number of birth control options on the market for both males and females, and while these options may affect your hormone levels throughout the month, it can also have consequences for your oral health. In today’s blog, we explain how certain birth control options can affect your teeth, and how to have great oral health no matter what family planning choice you make.
Birth Control and Your Teeth
Birth control can have an impact on your oral health due to the changing hormones in your body. Many forms of birth control include hormones, and when there is an uptick or sizeable fluctuation in the number or hormones in your body, it can have an impact on your health. In your mouth, these hormone changes can bring about an inflammatory response in your gums. The most common oral symptoms associated with taking birth control are sore, swollen or bleeding gums. This can happen when you take birth control, or during other life stages when hormone levels fluctuate, like during puberty or menopause.
The good news is that medical science is making it so that certain forms of birth control have lower levels of estrogen and progesterone than previous versions, so the effects of hormone fluctuations aren’t typically as severe. However, if you already have gum disease or gingivitis, even these smaller hormone changes can continue disease progression.
There are also some other lifestyle factors that can affect your oral health while on birth control. For example, women who smoke and take birth control are more likely to have blood clotting issues, which can be a problem if you need to have a tooth pulled. Also, the longer you’re on birth control, the greater the risk that gum disease becomes an issue down the road. And finally, you’ll want to talk to your dentist about what type of birth control you are taking if they want to prescribe you with medication for a dental problem. Mixing medications can decrease the effectiveness of one or both medications, so to ensure everything remains effective, have a simple conversation with your dentist.
Dental Clinic in Bloomington, MN
If you are concerned about what a certain type of birth control might do to your oral health, ask your doctor about lower hormone options. Also, to reduce your risk of gum disease no matter what form of birth control you choose, make sure you are brushing your teeth at least two times a day, regularly flossing and getting semi-annual cleanings and checkups. If you need to schedule your next dental visit, or you simply want to learn about other ways in which you can prevent gum disease, reach out to Dr. Brooks and his dental team at Smile For Life Dental in Bloomington.