Depo-Provera and Bone Mineral Density


Does the Depo shot cause massive bone density loss in teeth?


A study published in the Journal of Periodontology reported that Depo shot users are more likely to experience poor periodontal health than those who have never taken the injectable contraceptive. Participants in this study were women ages 15-44 who have used or were currently using the Depo shot. Each participant was given a dental examination noting instances of gingival bleeding, periodontal pockets, and clinical attachment (CA) loss. The study found that Depo users had more gingival bleeding, periodontal pockets, and CA loss than women who had never used the injectable contraceptive.

Other studies reveal that the shot decreases women’s bone mineral density (BMD), which raise questions about the safety of this contraceptive. Loss of BMD could lead to the development of osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life. Some studies show that once Depo use is stopped, women regain the BMD they lost; however, complete recovery has not been demonstrated in all cases. The Depo label includes a warning statement about its effects on BMD and advises women to not use Depo for more than two years.

The President of the American Academy of Periodontology, Dr. Pamela McClain, recommends women who are using or have used the Depo shot should pay more attention to their teeth and gums and practice excellent oral care. If you are considering Depo as an option or are currently using it, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you are making the best health care decisions that you best for you.

For more information on the Depo-Provera shot, please see these sources:

Depo-Provera and bone mineral density -

Summary of periodontal health and depo shot study -

Information on contraceptive options -

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