With a wide variety of birth control options, it is natural to wonder about the side effects that come along with them. The main question that tends to get asked is, what effect will this have on my oral health? This is one of the most important things to keep in mind, as poor oral health can increase your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, strokes, and more.

The Hormones

Since hormones exist in most types of birth control, the first month will have the biggest effect on your body. Search online for Dental Offices Near Me if you are experiencing oral pain related to your birth control. It is common for some women to experience gum pain related to bleeding or swollen gums.

The gums tend to swell up and bleed in the first month after taking birth control because a large amount of hormones causes the gums to get more sensitive. The hormones affect the gums by causing an increase in blood flow to the gums.

Luckily, this is not the case for all types of birth control. Lower amounts of progesterone and estrogen are being used in newer pills. Newer pills will not have as much of an effect on oral health as older ones will.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Women with pre-existing oral diseases are at a much higher risk for further complications. Diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis can see an increase in severity when using hormone-based birth control.

If you are currently dealing with an oral-based disease, you must remedy it before the use of hormone-based birth control. Another alternative would be to consult your dentist about other birth controls lacking in oral damaging hormones.

Other Factors

Other things such as time and smoking can play roles in your birth control’s effect on your oral health. The longer you spend on birth control, the more likely you are to experience some sort of gum pain or swelling. Smoking while on birth control can result in problems like a dry mouth and blood clotting.

Speak with your dentist about medications you may be on as you do not want any medications to conflict with your birth control.

How to Prevent Oral Damage

Taking certain precautions before going on birth control can help limit your risk of oral complications. Consult a dentist about the current health of your gums before purchasing birth control. This allows you to make sure your mouth is healthy enough and provides a baseline to look back at to see how birth control has affected your oral health over time. Practicing good hygiene habits like brushing your teeth and flossing are crucial. Make sure you know how to properly brush and floss.

Work on a diet. An alkaline-based diet consisting of healthy foods is sure to keep your gums healthy. Green, leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are rich in alkaline and should be a big part of a person’s diet. Avoid things with high sugar content such as ice cream and sports drinks to reduce the incidence of problems.

It is important to understand the possible side effects associated with birth control. Newer birth control methods are not as prone to causing gum damage as older ones, but it is still important to understand the risks so you can prepare for them and combat issues should they ever happen.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Double-Checking the Side Effects: Does Birth Control Have an Effect on Your Oral Health?," in Medicalopedia, May 20, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8911/double-checking-the-side-effects-does-birth-control-have-an-effect-on-your-oral-health/].