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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Gum Disease Can Affect Fertility -- October 10, 2011

Women having a hard time getting pregnant may need to get their teeth cleaned.  The first study of its kind shows there is a link between gum disease and infertility.  Experts say the ill effects of poor oral health on pregnancy are of the same degree as the effects of obesity. 

This research* analyzed nearly 2,000 women in Australia; half had some form of gum disease.  The study found that while it takes the average woman about 5 months to get pregnant, it takes women with periodontal disease (gum disease) an average of two months longer to conceive.  In 146 cases, it took the women 12 months or more to get pregnant.

The women with the increased risk of delayed conception include:

  • gum disease
  • older
  • non-caucasians
  • smokers
  • overweight

Periodontal disease involves inflammation of the gums andresults in tissue destruction that can find its way into the blood stream.  Due to this, most forms of gum disease in earlier studies have been shown to play a significant role in heart disease, type 2 disease and respiratory and kidney disease.  Now research shows it also affects fertility.

 

 *Published in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Women having a hard time getting pregnant may need to get their teeth cleaned.  The first study of its kind shows there is a link between gum disease and infertility.  Experts say the ill effects of poor oral health on pregnancy are of the same degree as the effects of obesity. 

This research* analyzed nearly 2,000 women in Australia; half had some form of gum disease.  The study found that while it takes the average woman about 5 months to get pregnant, it takes women with periodontal disease (gum disease) an average of two months longer to conceive.  In 146 cases, it took the women a year or more to get pregnant.

The women with the increased risk of delayed conception include those who are:

  • older
  • non-caucasians
  • smokers
  • overweight

Periodontal disease involves inflammation of the gums andresults in tissue destruction that can find its way into the blood stream.  Due to this, most forms of gum disease in earlier studies have been shown to play a significant role in heart disease, type 2 disease and respiratory and kidney disease.  Now research shows it also affects fertility.

 

 *Published in Obstetrics and Gynecology

 

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