Taking Contraceptives and Risk of Periodontal Disease
According to researchers, certain contraceptives may increase the risk of periodontal disease. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA, is an injectable contraceptive based solely on progestin. Also known by its brand name, Depo-Provera, this drug should be used with caution by women who are already at risk of gum disease.
Researchers think that DMPA may drive inflammation by causing production of prostaglandins within the body. Over time, the increased prostaglandin synthesis may increase the chances of periodontal disease. It is important to note that not all studies have found a link between gum disease and DMPA use. Furthermore, studies of low-dose oral contraceptives have failed to find associations with periodontitis. More studies are necessary to investigate the apparent connection between progestin-only contraceptives and inflammation of the gums.
Economic status may also be involved in the link between DMPA and gum disease. Researchers found that black and Latina women were far more likely to use this particular contraceptive in comparison to white women. Gum disease is already more prevalent in low-income populations, potentially increasing the likelihood that DMPA might have a damaging effect on the gums. After adjusting for potentially confounding factors, such as smoking, the connection between DMPA and periodontitis remained significant.
Women who use DMPA should monitor their gums for periodontitis symptoms, such as bleeding and inflammation. If gum disease does develop, women should visit our expert in periodontal treatments in West Hollywood to stop and even try to reverse it. Women can schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about how oral contraceptives may affect their risk of gum disease.
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