You’ve decided that you want to start a family. It seems that everyone around you is starting to get pregnant or already has a baby. But things aren’t going quite as you had planned. It’s been months, yet you and your partner haven’t been able to conceive. You’re thinking about seeing a fertility specialist or maybe you’re already talking about IVF. In addition to focusing on your health, diet, and weight, there’s one other thing that you should pay attention to…your oral health.
Gum Disease Could Contribute to Infertility
Scientific research now shoes that both men and women may have a more difficult time conceiving a child if one or both of the partners suffers from active periodontal disease. The oral-systemic connection can lead to an elevated level of inflammation throughout the body, making it more challenging to get pregnant or manage other health problems.
Women: What it Means for Your Body
Reproductive complications such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other menstrual abnormalities are closely tied with inflammatory periodontal disease. If and when you do conceive, the biofilm found in gum disease can transfer through the placenta, drastically increasing the risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor, and a baby with a low birth weight.
Men: You’re Not Off the Hook
We now know that men with periodontal disease may be more susceptible to erectile dysfunction (ED) and a lower sperm count, even if you’re in your 20s or 30s. The rise in inflammation and strain to the immune system doesn’t just affect your mouth, but also the rest of your body. Even if you’re not ready to start a family, you might be seeing the effects that gum disease has on your reproductive health.
Brushing, Flossing, and a Dental Cleaning Can Help
Studies show that men and women with gum disease who treat their oral infections can increase their risk of conceiving within a matter of just a few months. Improvement in your oral hygiene routine significantly lower the levels of bacteria and inflammation within the mouth, and consequently the rest of the body. In as little as 2-3 months, some of these couples have significantly increased their rate of conception times.
When You Need More Than “Just a Cleaning”
Active periodontitis often requires a series of periodontal scaling and root planing treatments (“deep cleanings”) to thoroughly remove the calcified bacterial deposits from under the gumlines. In some cases, antibiotic therapy or laser treatments may be necessary.
During your exam at Hawthorne Village Dental Care, we’ll evaluate your oral health status and determine if periodontal treatment is needed. Then, we’ll create a care plan that helps you regain control over your oral health so that you can boost your overall wellness.
It’s not essential that you share your infertility concerns with us, but we do want you to know that we’re supportive of how balancing the oral-systemic connection could help you on your journey toward building a family. Book a periodontal evaluation at our Milton dentist office today to get started.