Oral health and pregnancy: Gum problems reduce fertility

Discover the close link between oral health and pregnancy and how it can affect the chances of becoming a mother.

The relationship between oral health and pregnancy is narrower than previously thought and is that not only can be behind some complications of pregnancy (premature birth, the low weight of the baby at birth …), but gum problems can affect the fertility of women, as science has confirmed.

Periodontal disease affects the gums. At first, gingivitis appears, caused by the excess of bacterial plaque between the teeth and soft tissue. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, with the greatest risk of tooth loss. Poor oral hygiene can aggravate periodontitis.

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Researchers at the University of Helsinki (Finland), authors of the study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology, advise women of childbearing age to take special care of their oral hygiene if they want to be a mother. Discover how periodontitis can affect the possibility of achieving a natural pregnancy.

Oral health and fertility

Previous studies had already pointed to oral health, and specifically to periodontal disease, as one of the risk factors of infertility. This study confirms that gum problems can increase the difficulties to achieve pregnancy. The study counted with the participation of more than 250 women, ages 19 to 42, who had planned to become mothers.

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As a result of the follow-up carried out during one year (blood tests, gynecological and dental check-ups periodically), it was found that the presence in the saliva samples of the bacteria causing the periodontitis was much higher among the women who had not managed to become pregnant , and without distinction by age, gynecological health, clinical history or reproductive history. And is that this bacterium would be able to induce inflammatory processes in the uterus, fallopian tubes or endometrium, a mechanism that still have answers to unravel.

The main contribution of this research is that it corroborates that certain periodontal pathogens can interfere in a woman’s fertility. Caring for oral health is key at any age, but especially in stages that involve an extra preventive measure to avoid possible complications. In this case, as simple as going periodically to the dentist, especially if the pregnancy is being planned; take care of oral hygiene (brushing several times a day and flossing); avoid sweets or candy and gum with sugar; Follow a diet rich in vitamins A, C, D, and calcium to strengthen the teeth and gums.

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