I’m getting ready to book an appointment with my Elgin dentist for wisdom teeth extractions. I read somewhere that I shouldn’t be on birth control because it causes dry socket. My boyfriend just had that and he was in agony, so I’m super freaked out that I’ll get it, too. Do I need to come off the medication before the appointment and, if so, how much time do I need to allow between the time I come off it and my Elgin dentist appointment?
First of all, dry socket is really rare. There are a lot of studies that have examined the prevalence of it, but one of the latest research papers puts it at about 0.6%. Women have a slightly higher chance of developing the complication then men do, but it’s still well below 1%. There are some things that further increase your risk, like smoking or drinking through a straw while you’re still healing.
As for birth control, yes, there is evidence to suggest that it could increase the chances you’ll get dry socket. In fact, some studies say it will double your chances of getting it, but the latest info only increases the odds by 0.2%. Those are still pretty small odds. However, the medical community believes that the reason why women are more prone to dry socket, and the reason why birth control increases the risk, is due to high estrogen levels. If you have the extractions done when you’re at the end of your cycle (days 23-28 or so), your estrogen levels will be lower and this may negate the extra risk.
The other concern worth bringing up is the possibility you’ll be put on antibiotics, either as a preventative measure or if you run into trouble down the line. Estrogen-containing oral birth control pills rely on your gut bacteria for activation. If you’re on an antibiotic, it may kill some or all of the bacteria, thus reducing the effectiveness of your birth control. Rifampin (Rifadin®) is the big one, though your doctor isn’t likely to prescribe it for an extraction. Other common antibiotics, such as penicillin and amoxicillin, probably won’t affect your birth control, but your pharmacist will probably recommend that you use a non-hormonal birth control backup while you’re on the antibiotic and for a period of time afterward.
Ultimately, if you still have concerns over either of these topics, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your Elgin dentist before your next visit.
This blog is sponsored byElgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.