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How Birth Control Can Alter Your Chances of Developing Gum Disease

Posted on 4/25/2020 by Edward I Jutkowitz, DMD, PC
How Birth Control Can Alter Your Chances of Developing Gum Disease Even the most fastidious woman, the type of woman who takes great pains to brush and floss regularly, can suffer gum disease at no fault of her own. When a woman becomes pregnant, the body ramps up its immune system as a way of protecting the unborn fetus from pathogenic harm; biologically, it makes sense, but your teeth and gums didn't get the memo. Oral contraceptive pills imitate pregnancy in a woman, triggering the same response. The result? Gum disease.

Preventing Gum Disease When Taking Oral Contraception

Studies have shown that women who take birth control pills are more likely to have gum disease. Due to oral contraception's resemblance to pregnancy in a woman's body, the same hormones that lead to swollen, red gums during pregnancy also occur when on birth control. These changes are like setting out a welcome mat for the harmful bacteria in your mouth. However, it's important to remember that the same studies that revealed the link between contraception and gum disease are older studies, analyzed when birth control had higher levels of synthetic hormones in them. Today's birth control has much lower hormonal levels in it. What does this mean for today's woman? Yes, you could be at higher risk of gum disease on birth control. Don't forget, though, that while your risk of gum disease on oral contraception is certainly elevated, there are steps you can take to help prevent it:
•  Know your numbers. It would be hard to determine if your gums are receding and your pocket depth is increasing without knowing what your health was before starting birth control. Before starting contraception, get a thorough dental appointment to assess where you are with your dental health.
•  Mind your diet. Instead of reaching for fizzy drinks and sugary junk food, take care to eat a balanced, healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Vitamin C and calcium are especially important for healthy teeth and gums.
•  Stay on top of your health. Be extra careful to ensure that you brush twice a day and floss daily even when you'
•  re not on birth control. Regular dental checkups with cleanings are also vital to maintain your oral health.
If caught early, gum disease is completely curable – but you need to be able to catch it to treat it! Whether you're taking hormonal contraceptive, or it's simply been longer than six months since your last dental exam, please give our office a call today to schedule your comprehensive dental exam with cleaning.
Roslyn Heights
70 Glen Cove Rd, Roslyn Heights,
NY 11576
Phone: (516) 240-9072
Fax: 516-621-9409

133 East 58th St, Ste 803,
Manhattan, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 235-1181
Fax: 646-735-1843

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At Edward I. Jutkowitz DMD, PC we maintain a dental blog to educate the community and provide detailed information about oral health. Call today: (516) 740-1848.
Edward I Jutkowitz, DMD, PC, 70 Glen Cove Rd, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 • (516) 240-9072 • • 6/28/2022 • Key Phrases: dental implants Roslyn Heights NY •