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Some Birth Control Drugs Could Increase Risk of Gum Disease

SomeBirthControlDrugsCouldIncreaseRiskofGumDisease

One of the health issues pregnant women should be concerned about is a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease. But you don’t have to be pregnant to have an increased risk — you also may be more susceptible to dental disease if you’re taking certain birth control pills.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, food debris that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated gum disease can eventually lead to the breakdown of connective gum tissue and cause tooth loss.

Pregnant women are at greater risk because of an increased level of female hormones (estrogen) in their blood stream. This causes a change in the blood vessels that supply the gums, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. A number of birth control options also increase estrogen levels, causing much of the same effect. To heighten the effect, you may also have a predisposition toward gum disease by your genetics or a high stress level.

There are some things you can do, however, to help lower your risk if you’re taking birth control medication. First and foremost, practice a consistent, daily habit of brushing and flossing. If you’re unsure if your technique is effective, we can provide guidance and training to make sure you’re performing these tasks properly. You should also visit us at least twice a year for office cleanings and checkups: no matter how effective you are with brushing and flossing, plaque can still accumulate in hard to reach places and form hardened deposits known as calculus.

You should also be on the lookout for signs of disease like gum redness, swelling or bleeding. If you see any of these signs, contact us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. As with many other issues involving health, the sooner we begin treatment for gum disease the better your chances of stopping it before it does too much harm.

If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy or birth control, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy & Birth Control.”

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  • "This is a very professional place, but the atmosphere is so upbeat!!!! From the start of my interaction with the staff upon my leaving it was such a wonderful way to be treated. Everyone was so kind, caring, and considerate of my situation. They really put me at ease. The staff is Amazing!!!! I was overwhelmed by the experience. Thanks Crystal Dental Care!"
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  • "Michelle and Dr.Murphy were very helpful. Front desk ladies Tammy and I do apologize for forgetting the other ladies name, were so nice a welcoming. Everything was explained to me and I actually learn something regarding Diabetes and your oral health. Thanks again guys I will be back to get some treatments done in a few weeks."
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    Queen A.
  • "Every staff member was kind and welcoming. I received clear and precise answers to all of my questions. Both the assistant and the dentist were gentle and respectful. I was given multiple options for a treatment plan with no pressure or up sales. It felt like affirming medical care. I’m looking forward to being a responsible and long term patient."
    Tobias B.
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