Effects of Contraceptive Use on Oral Health
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66.2% of women in the United States visited the dental office in 2016. Additionally, 64.9% of the 72.2 million women ages 15 to 49 in the US were using hormonal or nonhormonal contraceptives between 2015 and 2017. In light of these figures, oral health professionals should understand the oral effects that may present in women who use contraceptives. Familiarity with the different forms of contraceptives—and potential reasons for their use other than birth control—is important for comprehensive patient care.
While commonly used to prevent pregnancy, oral contraceptives can also be used to treat which of the following?
Typically, traditional oral contraceptives are a combination of two hormones: estrogen and progestogen
Evidence indicates that women taking traditional forms of oral contraceptives have a decreased risk for gingival inflammation, dry socket, temporomandibular joint disorder, clinical attachment loss, and gingival hyperplasia.
An investigation by Mullally et al found that periodontitis was seen in what percentage of women who were actively using oral contraceptives?
Research suggests traditional oral contraceptives containing progestin and estrogen negatively affect oral health.
Kazerooni et al noted that probing depths, clinical gingival index, bleeding on probing, and papillary bleeding were all elevated in patients using levonorgestrel implant contraception.
Recognizing adverse oral side effects in women taking oral or nonoral contraceptives is essential for comprehensive care, and will allow providers to tailor treatment plans to meet the patient’s individual needs.
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