Taking Oral Contraceptives? Pay attention to your Oral Health
Contributed By: Dr Damini & Lt Gen Dr Vimal Arora
These days, choosing a form of birth control can seem as daunting as shopping for a new cell phone. The birth control technology is constantly changing and there are just innumerable options. Even after options galore, the science behind contraception remains the same. In today’s day and age, women being professionals, who have to plan the family, it is highly important, that we know the effects of oral contraception on one’s Oral Health. Birth control pills make your body think that it’s pregnant, so the body does not get pregnant again. The hormonal pills taken for the birth control cause certain changes which have profound effect on your gums.
- Aggravated Response – Women who already have deposits on teeth or pre-existing gum disease, get aggravated response while on Oral contraceptives.
- Swelling – The gums show swelling which is directly related to the duration of use.
- Prolonged use – Causes gum disease to get into advanced stage.
- Advanced stage – of gum disease (i.e. Periodontitis) happens due to prolonged use and if regular care is not taken, the bone loss occurs.
- Bone dissolves – which holds the teeth in place is called the Alveolar bone and this bone gets dissolved in case there is a long standing gum disease.
- Gum recession – gums become lose and start receding thereby the root area of your tooth will be exposed. Thereby, leading to sensitivity.
- Periodontal pocket formation – As the gum recedes, periodontal pocket is formed around the tooth, leading to increased bacterial accumulation.
Signs to look out for :
- Reddish gums giving an engorged feeling
- Easily bleeding gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Elongated teeth & Change in your smile
- Dry mouth and foul smell
How can you keep your gums healthy:
- ‘Talk to Your Dentist’
- Ask him to examine if you have tell-tale signs of developing gum disease.
- If disease has set in, urgent treatment needs to be done.
- Regular dental scaling and cleaning of your teeth is the minimum basic.
- If the disease is advanced, deep cleaning (curettage) will be required.
- Ask your dentist, if he or she thinks you should use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
- Change your Oral contraceptive if gum disease is developing (after consulting with your doctor).
- Learn & Review your Oral Hygiene habits.
- Check your diet. A low-inflammation diet rich in alkaline, healthy foods will keep your gums healthy.
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