Though it is not common knowledge, it is actually a fact that there are several different ways to take hormonal birth control. The most common form of hormonal birth control is the pill, but there is actually another form of birth control that has gained popularity in recent years that is injectable. The injectable birth control is called depotmedroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), and is injected into the bloodstream to deliver the same hormonal effects as the birth control pill. But unfortunately recent research is now suggesting that this form of birth control may actually be harmful to a woman’s oral health.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology has shown the negative oral health effects of taking injectable progesterone contraceptives. The study claims that women who do take or have taken this form of birth control in the past are more susceptible to poor oral health and oral health conditions like periodontitis and gingivitis. These diseases can be detrimental to a person’s oral health as well as their overall health because of the effects that the health of the gums has on the rest of the body.

The women chosen for the study were aged between fifteen and forty four, and all were premenopausal and not pregnant. The women had also provided all the data necessary to study the effects of the DMPA. The study compared women who have taken or are currently taking DMPA with women who had never taken the injectable contraceptives. All of the participants then received a dental examination in which they were tested for mild tooth loss, periodontitis which was tested at at least two or three places on each tooth, and they were also tested for gingival bleeding.

The data was not only examined along the lines of gender, but also along lines of other oral health determinants like age, race, education, poverty income level, and smoking status. Those who had taken the DMPA had all been found to have much higher incidences of mild tooth loss, periodontal pockets, and gingival bleeding. There was also significant differences in oral health between those patients who had taken the DMPA in the past and those patients who were presently taking the contraceptives. Present users were found with higher incidences of gingivitis, while past users had higher rates of the more severe periodontitis.

Experts are now saying that women who have taken this contraceptive in the past or who are currently taking the contraceptive should be especially careful to tend to their oral health needs.

“Hormones can play a role in woman’s periodontal health. These findings suggest that women that use, or have used, a hormone-based injectable contraception such as DMPA may have increased odds of poor periodontal health. I would encourage women that use or previously used this form of contraception to maintain excellent oral care, and to be sure to see a dental professional for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on an annual basis,” said Dr. Pamela McClain, President of the American Academy of Periodontology.

If you would like more information on how South Charlotte Dentistry can help you with your oral health please visit our contact us page or call 704-759-0908!

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