One of the surprising side effects of taking birth control pills is that it can lead to dental problems. Although not every woman experiences problems, it is necessary for anyone taking birth control pills to take measures to protect their oral health. If you are taking birth control, here is what you need to know about its impact on your oral health.
Why Do Birth Control Pills Cause Dental Problems?
When you take birth control pills, they cause hormonal changes in your body. For instance, the frequency of your periods could change or you could experience acne breakouts. The effects of the pills is not limited to your menstrual cycle and skin.
The changes can also cause your gums to become inflamed. The inflammation could mean that you experience bleeding gums and swelling.
Hormonal changes can also lead to the development of a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. Birth control pills cause a decrease in the estrogen in your body. The decrease can sometimes cause a change in the bone that connects the jaw to the side of your head, or the TMJ.
When that happens, you can develop problems, such as a clicking noise when you eat or trouble controlling and moving your jaw.
What Can You Do?
One of the first steps you need to take is to have an evaluation by your dentist if you believe that hormonal changes caused by birth control is causing dental problems. He or she will be able to determine if that is the case or if there is another underlying condition that is at the root of your problems.
If the dentist has determined that your birth control is to blame, you need to talk to your gynecologist about your options. There are other types of birth control pills available that are as effective as the one you are currently taking that has lower amounts of hormones in them.
It is important that you continue to see your dentist as you continue your birth control. Some changes to your oral health are irreversible. Early detection will be key in protecting your teeth and gums from damage that is being caused by your birth control pills.
In addition to these measures, you need to have regular teeth cleanings. Regular cleanings will not only help to remove plaque and other substances from your teeth, but they will help the dentist detect problems easier. Talk with a dentist like David B Anderson, DDS, PC for more information.