Studies linking oral health to overall health have come in abundance in recent memory, due to the advancement of medicine and our increasing understanding of the human body — including those pearly whites. We already know that periodontal disease can lead to all sorts of maladies, including heart disease. But did you also know that studies are finding that gum disease can also lead to infertility?
Before you panic, let’s go over some of the facts. If you’re trying to work towards pregnancy, it would behoove you to take a look at some useful information below.
Convincing Studies Coming Forth
The ESHRE (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology), a conference held in 2011 in Stockholm reported findings from Roger Hart (University of Western Australia in Perth) which showed that gum disease has the same effect on fertility as does obesity.
This same study also found that women with periodontitis took an average of 2 months longer to conceive than women with good oral health. This was also the first report which suggested gum disease treatment can drastically improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
That’s not the only way that oral health problems can stand in the way of a pregnancy. Women who live with untreated chronic periodontitis are also more susceptible to contracting endometriosis, a disorder that occurs when the endometrium is found outside the uterus rather than lining the inside of the uterus. Endometriosis affects 6.3 million women in the U.S., which results in internal bleeding, inflammation, and lesions, resulting in infertility among multiple additional problems.
So, Why Gingivitis?
Many researchers hold that endotoxins are the culprit, which release disease-causing bacteria, while some chalk it up to a reaction between periodontitis and medications used to facilitate pregnancy.
Think About That Baby, Too
It’s not just your own health that hinges on good dental habits. The baby can unwittingly contract oral health problems from Mom, resulting in low birth weight, slow fetal growth, preeclampsia, and even perinatal mortality.
It’s important that women who wish to become pregnant make it their business to incorporate a strong oral health routine into their fertility plan. Hart concluded at the ESHRE conference that women who wish to become pregnant should brush and floss regularly, in addition to keeping routine check-ups with their dentist.
That’s what we’re here for. Bedford Dental Group’s primary mission is to provide concentrated care to all of our patients. Great oral health not only opens up new doors, it enhances your life and your health. Contact Dr. Naysan today to schedule your consultation.