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J Periodontol. 2010 Jul;81(7):1010-8. doi: 10.1902/jop.2010.090575.

The impact of oral contraceptives on women's periodontal health and the subgingival occurrence of aggressive periodontopathogens and Candida species.

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Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Dentistry, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



The purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of oral contraceptive (OC) use on the subgingival occurrence of specific periodontopathogens and the host's periodontal status.


Ninety-two females aged 19 to 40 years were included in the study. They were divided into two groups, OC users and non-users, and subgrouped according to the most severe periodontal condition and duration of OC usage. A pooled subgingival sample from each subject was cultured to investigate the presence of Candida species, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (previously Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans), and Prevotella intermedia.


OC users, particularly smokers, show a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of severe periodontitis. OC users had deeper probing depths (>or=5 mm) than non-users. Moreover, OC users had higher gingival index scores and clinical attachment loss, >or=2 and >or=5 mm, respectively, than non-users (P <0.01). Patients taking OCs had significantly higher numbers of cultures positive for Candida. Seven Candida species were isolated. Subgingival Candida was associated with P. gingivalis and P. intermedia in 82.9% and 85.4%, respectively, in patients taking OCs. A. actinomycetemcomitans was isolated in patients with moderate and severe periodontitis and was associated with subgingival P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, and Candida.


OC use may increase the risk of severe periodontitis and seems to cause a selection of certain Candida species in periodontal pockets. OC users showed a higher prevalence of P. gingivalis, P. intermedia, and A. actinomycetemcomitans compared to non-users. C. albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. krusei, C. tropicalis, and C. glabrata were the species with the ability to survive in the conditions created by the sex hormones after 3 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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