Link Between Contraceptives and Periodontal Disease
Natural hormonal changes occur throughout a woman’s life, including during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal fluctuations can affect the gum health, though. Progesterone and estrogen can make gums more sensitive to oral bacteria that can increase the risk of inflammation and gum disease. Research suggests that oral contraceptives can also increase the risk of periodontal disease.
Oral contraceptives contain female hormones similar to those that are naturally present, and these sex hormones can cause the gum tissue to become more vascular in nature. Capillaries are more permeable, so the increased fluid and white blood cells may be more likely to migrate from the blood vessels. This results in increased gingival inflammation, as the gums may have an exaggerated response to even the smallest amounts of dental plaque. Research indicates that this may be why women using oral contraceptives are more vulnerable to gum disease.
While you cannot eliminate all oral bacteria, you can keep plaque under control by using good dental hygiene that can reduce your risk of periodontal disease. Brush and floss as recommended, and visit us at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and routine checkup. If you notice that your gums look red or puffy, or if they bleed easily, give us a call. Treating gum disease early can help prevent the damage of the later stages of periodontitis that can include the loss of the underlying bone tissue, as well as tooth loss. Call us today to schedule your appointment with our periodontist in Northridge.
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