Three Dental Problems Associated With Birth Control Pills

Taking a birth control pill can help to reduce the risk of pregnancy, but it can come with some unwanted side effects. Birth control pills can induce changes all over your body, some of which don't seem like they're related to reproductive organs at all. This includes your gums and teeth! If you take birth control pills or are about to start, here are three things to look out for.


The vast majority of birth control pills increase a woman's risk of having her gums bleed while taking them. This is because most hormonal birth control medications contain progesterone, a hormone that's naturally released in the body during a woman's period. Elevated doses of this hormone can cause the gums to bleed when they're touched, either by your toothbrush, food, or anything else that comes in contact with them. 


Gums that are exposed to high levels of progesterone are also more likely to be sensitive. You may even notice that your teeth seem to be a bit more sensitive while you're taking the pills. This is because when inflammation develops in the gums, it can affect the nerves inside your teeth. While birth control pills don't increase your risk of developing cavities or serious nerve damage, it's worth noting to your dentist if your teeth are regularly sensitive or in pain.

Pain While Flossing

Lastly, if you floss regularly without any problems and are noticing that you're now having pain when you do it, that's also a part of using a hormonal birth control pill. Pain tolerance often diminishes when progesterone or estrogen are released in high levels in your body. This would typically influence you on your period or during pregnancy, but it can also happen while on the birth control pill. Your gums may also be more sensitive due to the inflammation or bleeding they may be experiencing from the pill.

Taking the pill can change your life, but it can also affect your oral health. If you're having any of these problems, visit your dentist. Taking excellent care of the health of your teeth and gums can reduce the likelihood of you having these side effects of the pill. In the meantime, make an effort to be gentle with your gums while you're on the pill. Continue to maintain your oral hygiene habits, but make an effort to use a soft, light touch that's less likely to hurt your gums or to make them bleed.