Oral contraceptives or birth control pills used to prevent pregnancies in women. They are a combination of estrogen and progesterone which are natural hormones present in female body. Oral contraceptives have adverse effect on gingival tissues as it causes exaggerated gingival inflammation. This gingival inflammation consist of mild oedema erythema with hemorrhagic or hyper-plastic gingival tissues. Several mechanisms suggested for this exaggerated response in gingival tissue due to oral contraceptives.
Because contraceptives made up of hormones to prevent fertility, taking birth control results in hormonal and oral health changes in women. Hence these changes can increase sensitivity to oral health, affecting the blood supply received by gum tissue and the body’s response to the toxins created by plaque buildup.
Oral Contraceptives may cause the following:
- Altered vasculature
- Increased gingival permeability
- Increasing synthesis of prostaglandins
- Increase in level of bacteroids
Oral contraceptive associated with gingival inflammation therefore they become chronic when women exposed to extended periods with increase in levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Also, the brand used may alter varied responses in different women. Several other changes seen in oral cavity such as change in salivary composition. There is decrease in concentration of protein, sialic acid, hexosamine, hydrogen ions and total electrolytes. 2-3 folds increase in the incidence of localised osteitis after extraction of mandibular 3rd molar.
Management of Health after Oral Contraceptives:
A detailed medical case because history should include oral contraceptives under the heading of medications. Therefore the patients should inform of oral contraceptive side effects on periodontal health. Meticulous home care and in office dental oral prophylaxis carried out by eliminating local predisposing factors. Periodontal surgery should be undertaken if resolution after scaling and root planning is inadequate. Extraction of teeth to be done especially of 3rd molars on non-estrogenic days that is day 23-28 of oral contraceptive cycle.
Its said that antibiotics could render oral contraceptives ineffective in preventing pregnancy. Physician’s consent should be taken for long term antibiotics if patients are using increased dose of oral contraceptive preparation. Contraceptive users have a poor oral health. Thus, its advised to limit their contraceptive usage and shift to other measures of birth control.
To ensure that birth control doesn’t adversely affect oral health, seek your dentist’s advice if you’re taking contraceptives. In some cases, certain antibiotics that your dentist prescribes can lower birth control effectiveness. While birth control can affect your oral health, consulting with your dentist can help you manage any side effects.
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