Do oral contraceptives affect oral health?

We have observed increased inflammation and bleeding in our patients that take oral contraceptives. It is important to have excellent oral hygiene when taking any hormonal medication, as the gums are full of estrogen receptors and sensitive to changes in these levels. Also, oral contraceptives are affected by antibiotic use. If you take the Pill and have been put on antibiotics for an oral infection, be sure to use an alternative form of birth control, or refrain from sexual activity. 

Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, may increase sensitivity and irritation of  the teeth and gums. It is thought that hormonal changes increase the blood flow to the gums; it is the same kind of sensitivity many women experience during pregnancy and might increase a woman's risk of gum disease. Women who take oral contraceptives should tell their dentist. Some treatments for gum disease include antibiotics, but these may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills, so you should discuss the risks and benefits with your dentist and doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.