Oral Contraceptives and Oral Health: An Insight


  • Dental College, RIMS Imphal, Department of Oral Pathology & Microbiology, Manipur, India
  • Dental College, RIMS Imphal, Department of Conservative & Endodontics, Manipur, India


Oral contraceptive pills are a safe and effective means of avoiding pregnancy followed by women worldwide. These drugs were first introduced in 1960s and 70s and contained higher dose of estrogen and progesterone and were reported to cause unwanted side effects like gingival inflammation, localized osteitis, alterations in salivary flow rate, changes in salivary components and gingival melanosis in oral tissues. With the advent of new generation formulations of low dose oral contraceptive pills, the effects on oral health is minimized and presently users are not considered as risk group for developing gingival and periodontal disease. This review briefs the effects of oral contraceptive pills on general health and oral health in particular and controversies surrounding their use.


Oral Contraceptives, Gingivitis, Loss of Attachment, Estrogen, progesterone, Oral Health, Adverse Effects, Side Effects.

Subject Discipline


Full Text:


Narendran J. Hormonal contraception in females: Advantages and disadvantages. In: Gunasheel S, editor. Practical management of gynaecological problems. 2nd ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd; 2011.p.29-47.

Tilakaratne A, Soory M., Ranasinghe, AW, Corea, SMX, Ekanayake SL, De Silva M. Effects of hormonal contraceptives on the periodontium in a population of Sri-Lankan women. J of Clin Periodontol 2000;27:753-57.

Vittek, J, Hernandez MR, Wenk EJ, Rappaport SC, Southren AL. Specific estrogen receptors in human gingiva. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1982;54:608-12.

Miyagi M, Morishita M, Iwamoto Y. Effects of sex hormones on production of prostaglandin E2 by human

peripheral monocytes. J Periodontol. 1993;64:1075-78.

Beagrie GS. Observation on cell biology of gingival tissue of mice. Br Dent J 1966;121:417-20.

Reinhardt RA, Payne JB, Maze CA, Patil KD, Gallagher SJ, Mattson JS, et al. Influence of estrogen and

osteopenia/osteoporosis on clinical periodontitis in postmenopausal women. J Periodontol 1999;70:823-28.

Lindhe J, Branemark P. Changes in microcirculation after local application of sex hormones. J Periodontal Res 1967;2:185-93.

Lindhe J, Branemark P. Changes in vascular permeability after local application of sex hormones. J Periodontal Res 1967;2:259-65.

Manson JD. The aetiology of chronic periodontal disease. In: Eley B, Manson JD, editors. Periodontics. London: Kimpton Medical Publications; 2004.p.38-61.

Josefsson E, Tarkowski A, Carlsten H. Anti-inflammatory properties of estrogen. I. In vivo suppression of leukocyte production in bone marrow and redistribution of peripheral blood neutrophils. Cell Immunol 1992;142:6778.

Cheleuitte D, Mizuno S, Glowacki J. In vitro secretion of cytokines by human bone marrow: effects of age and estrogen status. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 1998;83:2043-51.

Hofmann R, Lehmer A, Braun J, Bauer S. Activity of phagocytic granulocytes in patients with prostatic cancer. Urol Res 1986;14:327-30.

Ito I, Hayashi T, Yamada, K, Kuzuya M, Naito M, Iguchi A. Physiological concentration of estradiol inhibits polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis via a receptor mediated system. Life Sci 1995;56:2247-53.

Gordon CM, Le Boff MS, Glowacki J. Adrenal and gonadal steroids inhibit IL-6 secretion by human marrow cells. Cytokine 2001;16:178-86.

Tilakaratne A, Soory M. Androgen metabolism in response to oestradiol17beta and progesterone in human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) in culture. J Clin Periodontol 1999;26:723-31.

Mealey BL, Moritz AJ. Hormonal influences: effects of diabetes mellitus and endogenous female sex steroid hormones on the periodontium. Periodontol 2000 2003;32:59-81.

Thomson ME, Pack ARC. Effects of extended systemic and topical folate supplementation on gingivitisin pregnancy. J Clin Periodontol 1982;9:275-80.

ElAttar TM. Prostaglandin E2 in human gingiva in health and disease and its stimulation by female sex steroids. Prostaglandins 1976;11:331-41.

Ferris GM. Alteration in female sex hormones: their effect on oral tissues and dental treatment. Compendium 1993;14:1558-70.

Chen TL, Aronow L, Feldman D. Glucocorticoid receptors and inhibition of bone cell growth in primaryculture. Endocrinology 1977;100:619-28.

Chevallier ME. Mouth manifestations and oral contraceptives. Rev Odontol Stomatol 1970;28:96.

Lindhe J, Bjorn AL. Influence of hormonal contraceptives on the gingiva of women. J Periodont Res 1967;2:1-6.

El-Ashiry GM, El-Kafrawy AH, Nasr MF, Younis N. Effects of oral contraceptives on the gingiva. Journal of Periodontology 1971;42:273-5.

Das AK, Bhowmick S, Dutta A. Oral contraceptives and periodontal disease. J Ind Dent Ass 1971;43:155.

Knight GM, Wade AB. The effects of hormonal contraceptives on the human periodontium. J Pedodont Res 1974;9:18.

Domingues RS, Ferraz BF, Greghi SL, Rezende ML, Passanezi E, Sant Ana AC. Influence of combined oral contraceptives on the periodontal condition. J Appl Oral Sci 2012; 20(2):253-9.

Haerian-Ardakani A, Moeintaghavi A, Talebi-Ardakani MR, Sohrabi K, Bahmani S, Dargahi M. The association between current low-dose oral contraceptive pills and periodontal health: A matched case-control study. J Contemp Dent Prac 2010;11(3):33-40.

Mullay BH, Coulter WA, Clarke HA. Current oral contraceptive status and periontitis in young adults. J Periodonto. 2007 Jun;78(6):1031-36.

Jenson J, Liljemark W, Bloomquist C. The effect of female sex hormones on subgingival plaque. J Periodontol 1981;52:599-602.

Magnusson T, Ericson T, Hugoson A. The effect of oral contraceptives on concentration of some salivary substances in women. Arch Oral Biol 1975;20(2):119-26.

Preshaw PM, Knutsen MA, Mariotti A. Experimental gingivitis in women using contraceptives. J Dent Res 2001;80:2011-15.

Sweet JB, Butler DP. The relationship of smoking to localized osteitis. J Oral Surg 1979 Oct;37(10):732-5.

Steinberg BJ. Sex hormonal alterations. In: Rose L, Kaye D, editors. International Medicine for Dentistry. 2nd edition. St. Louis: Mosby; 1990. p. 1073-1077.

Abdollahi M, Radfar A. A review of drug induced oral reactions. The J Contemp Dent Pract 2003;4(1):10-31.

Pharmatutor Edulabs; [Cited on 2015 Sept 16]. Available from: http://www. pharmatutor/articles/review on oral contraceptives.

American Dental Association. Council on scientific affairs. Antibiotic interference with oral contraceptives. JADA 2002;133:880.

Kemmeren JM, Algra A, Grobbe DE. Third generation oral contraceptives and risk of venous thrombosis: A metanalysis. BMJ 2001;323:131-4.

Preshaw PM. Oral contraceptives and the periodontium. Periodontal 2013;61(1):125-59.


  • There are currently no refbacks.