In a recent post, we wrote about how pregnancy can leave women susceptible to sensitivity in the gums due to heightened hormone levels. This is due to the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy, which can cause the gums to swell, bleed and trap food causing increased irritation to the gumline and teeth.
In addition to pregnancy, there are a number of other reasons women are more at risk for gingivitis, including menstrual cycles, menopause, puberty, and use of birth control pills.
Women who take certain birth control pills that contain combinations of estrogen progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body, may experience inflamed gum tissues due to the body’s exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque.
The elevated hormone levels can result in dilation of the blood vessels, inflammation and an obstruction in the normal repair mechanisms of the gums. These hormonal changes may exaggerate the body’s normal response to dental plaque, resulting in red, swollen gums that may bleed easily and become painful. These changes may be especially apparent around the lower front teeth.
Talk to Your Dentist
It’s important to talk to your dentist if you’re birth control pills to discuss the care necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This is especially important if your dentist recommends antibiotic treatment, as some antibiotics may interfere with the absorption of birth control pills, making them ineffective in preventing pregnancy. Although this is a rare occurrence, it’s better to be honest with your dentist so he or she is aware.
As with all forms of gingivitis related to hormonal changes, professional dental exams as well as expert care at home are critical in controlling the effects. If you are concerned about the health of your teeth and gums due to hormonal changes, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us. At Healthy Smiles of Georgia, we understand the importance of communication with our patients and invite you to come in and discuss your options for dental care during your next dental exam.
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