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Could Your Smile Be Hurting Your Fertility?

July 7, 2011 by  

Could Your Smile Be Hurting Your Fertility?

If you’re trying to get pregnant, a trip to the dentist might be just what the obstetrician ordered.

An Australian fertility expert, Professor Roger Hart, said he and his team of researchers have proven a correlation between gum disease and conception difficulties.

“Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman’s chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy,” Hart told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The researchers found that women with gum disease took an average of a little more than seven months to become pregnant — two months longer than the women without gum disease, who conceived after an average of five months.

“All women about to plan for a family should be encouraged to see their general practitioner to ensure that they are as healthy as possible before trying to conceive and so that they can be given appropriate lifestyle advice with respect to weight loss, diet and assistance with stopping smoking and drinking, plus the commencement of folic acid supplements,” a report on the subject in Obstetrics and Gynecology suggested.

“Additionally, it now appears that all women should also be encouraged to see their dentist to have any gum disease treated before trying to conceive. It is easily treated, usually involving no more than four dental visits.”

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  • coal miner
  • coal miner
    • coal miner

      very good article.

  • coal miner



    The latest oral health news from the American Dental AssociationView ADA newsPrint Font sizeresetSHARE Search Resource Center Choose a category All Categories Articles Products Videos Interactive Guides
    Periodontal Disease: Causes and Prevention
    What Is Periodontal Disease?If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it’s normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss. In a 1999 study, researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that half of Americans over 30 had bleeding gums.

    Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done, the infection can spread. It can destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that they have to be extracted.

    “Perio” means around, and “dontal” refers to teeth. Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. This include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — the infection affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved.

    For many years scientists have been trying to figure out what causes periodontal disease. It is now well accepted that various types of bacteria in dental plaque are the major villains. Researchers also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can affect your overall health.

    In recent years, gum disease has been linked to other health problems. This is a new and exciting area of research. Many questions remain. Studies have produced varying answers about how much of a connection exists between gum disease and other medical problems. More research is needed.

    Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:

    Atherosclerosis and heart disease — Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. The extent of this connection is unclear. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
    Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
    Premature births — # A woman who has gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely to deliver her baby too early. The infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight. One study showed that up to 18% of premature, low-birth-weight babies might be linked to the mother’s gum disease.
    Diabetes — Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
    Respiratory disease — Gum disease may cause lung infections and worsen existing lung conditions when bacteria from the mouth reach the lungs.
    What Causese Periodontal Disease?
    Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that inflame and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, a sign of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease). Damage from periodontal disease also can cause teeth to become loose. This is a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).

    You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly. Most people should see the dentist about once every six months. But if you already have gum disease you should visit more often.

    Daily brushing and flossing, when done correctly, can help to remove most of the plaque from your teeth. Professional cleanings by your dentist or dental hygienist will keep plaque under control in places that are harder for a toothbrush or floss to reach.

    If oral hygiene slips or you skip dental visits, plaque builds up on the teeth. Eventually, it spreads below the gum line. The bacteria are protected there because your toothbrush can’t reach them. If plaque is not removed, the bacteria will continue to multiply. This will cause a more serious infection.

    The buildup of plaque below the gumline causes the gums to become inflamed. As the gums swell, they detach from the tooth. This process forms a space, or “pocket,” between the tooth and gum. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the pockets. This encourages further plaque buildup.

    If left untreated, periodontal disease may spread to the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These structures support your teeth. Periodontal disease can destroy them.

    Another reason to remove plaque promptly is that over time it becomes hardened or calcified and turns into calculus. This is commonly called tartar. Even more plaque attaches to calculus because it’s a rougher surface than tooth enamel. It’s also rougher than cementum, a layer that covers the tooth root. Layers of calculus and plaque build up, in a downward spiral.

    Using a tartar-control toothpaste may help slow the build-up of calculus around your teeth. It can’t affect the tartar that already has formed below the gum line, however.

    Risks and Prevention
    The bacteria in plaque are the main cause of periodontal disease. But several other factors also can contribute. They include other diseases, medicines and oral habits. These factors can increase your risk of gum disease or make it worse once the infection has set in.

    Genes — Researchers believe up to 30% of the population may have a genetic trait that makes them more likely to get periodontal disease. But your genes do not make gum disease inevitable. Even people who are highly prone to periodontal disease because of their genetic make-up can prevent or control the disease with good oral care.

    Smoking and tobacco use — Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease. The longer you smoke, and the more you smoke, the higher the risk. If you have periodontal disease, smoking makes it more severe. Smoking is the main cause of periodontal disease that is resistant to treatment. Smokers tend to collect more tartar on their teeth. They often develop deeper periodontal pockets once they have gum disease. They also are likely to lose more bone as the disease gets worse. Unlike many other factors that affect the health of your gums, whether you smoke is under your control. Quitting smoking can play a major role in bringing periodontal disease under control.

    Misaligned or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework — Anything that makes it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth is likely to enhance plaque and tartar formation. The more plaque and tartar you have, the greater your chance of developing gum disease. Dentists and periodontists can show you the best ways to clean your teeth, even if they are hard to clean. For example, you can use special tools and ways of threading floss to clean around bridgework or slide under braces. If overcrowded or crooked teeth are a problem, your dentist might recommend orthodontics. This could straighten out your smile and give you a better chance of preventing disease.

    Grinding, gritting or clenching of teeth — These habits won’t cause periodontal disease. However, they can lead to more severe disease if your gums are already inflamed. These habits exert excess force on the teeth. This pressure appears to speed up the breakdown of the periodontal ligament and bone. In many cases, people can learn to stop this habit simply by recognizing when it is happening and then relaxing. If these efforts don’t work, your dentist or periodontist can create a custom guard appliance to help reduce the pressure of clenching or grinding on the teeth. This device is sometimes called an occlusal guard, night guard, mouth guard or bite guard.

    Stress — Stress can make periodontal disease worse and harder to treat. Stress weakens your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight off infection, including periodontal disease.

    Fluctuating hormones — Whenever hormone levels go up and down in the body, changes can occur in the mouth. Puberty and pregnancy can temporarily increase the risk and severity of gum disease. So can menopause.

    Medications — Several types of medicines can cause dry mouth, or xerostomia. Examples include certain drugs for depression and high blood pressure. Without the protection of adequate amounts of saliva, plaque is more likely to form. Other medicines may cause the gums to enlarge, which makes them more likely to trap plaque. These medicines include:

    Phenytoin (Dilantin and other brand names), used to control seizures
    Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), used to suppress the immune system
    Nifedipine (Adalat, Cardizem and others) and other calcium channel blockers, used to treat chest pain or heart arrhythmias.
    Diseases — It’s not clear exactly why, but people with certain diseases have a higher risk of periodontal disease. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to get periodontitis than people without diabetes. Their gum disease is also likely to be more severe. Other diseases that increase periodontal disease risk include inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV infection. Having one of these diseases can make the control of your periodontal disease more difficult. But a good periodontist or dentist who is aware of these problems can give you guidance on how to maintain your periodontal health.

    Poor nutrition — Nutrition is important for overall good health, including a working immune system and healthy gums and mouth. Severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) can cause bleeding gums

    • another go almost no where

      the Dr’s article was defunct on any real remedy (except the mention of possibily treating gum scurvy with vitamin C, however bioflavonoids is also part of needed anti scurvy nutrition).

      better a person do their own literature search then to just depend on a Dr’s cookie cutter going no where

      infection, also likely sign of poor nutrition (lack of some vitamin (vit D3?) or minerals?), poor immune function (never mind that stress etc could be precipitating factors)

      look up coenzyme q10, and possibly ____ and gums. ;-]

  • Jim

    This might be an obvious oversimplification:

    If you have gum disease, you have bad breath, thus the chances of conceiving are directly related to the amount of sexual activity …

    • going some where for sure

      i agree

      cant stomach someone’s bad breath

  • coal miner

    Ancient Egyptians suffered from gum and tooth disease.

  • http://FarTooMuch.Info Russ Lemon

    Correlation does not confirm cause and effect. There is the possibility of another cause with both infertility and gum disease both being an effect of this unknown cause. For example, it has been proven that glyphosate used with genetically modified foods can cause infertility. It has also been shown that the Bt-toxin in genetically modified foods can cause ulcers in the stomach and in the mouth. After all, that is how the Bt-toxin kill insects.

    Elimination of genetically modified foods, including high fructose corn syrup, and the elimination of toxins such as aspartame, MSG and trans-fats and oils, will improve fertility. This has been proven. It will also lower blood pressure & blood sugar and reduce the risk of cancer. Note that the herbicide 2,4-D [component of Agent Orange] also causes infertility. In the United States, it is sometimes used on food crops where glyphosate does not work.

  • coal miner

    Science News:
    Bad Teeth May Signal Risk For Heart Attack:
    ScienceDaily (May 19, 2005) — Elderly persons with active root caries, a type of tooth decay, have an increased risk of having irregular heart beats. This study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    A total of 125 generally healthy individuals over the age of 80, living in urban, community-based populations were examined. Researchers discovered that persons with three or more active root caries had more than twice the odds of cardiac arrhythmias of those without. Researchers indicate that root caries may be a marker of general physical decline in the elderly and specifically underscore the mouth as an integral part of the body.

    “The findings make a strong case for the active assessment of and attention to oral problems for the older community-dwelling population,” states Poul Holm-Pedersen, lead author of the study. Because arrhythmias can signify other possibly undiagnosed diseases in older people, researchers stress the importance of taking dental diseases seriously.

    The advanced age of those who participated in the study may have been a factor in determining an association between overall periodontal disease and arrhythmia since those who might have been strong examples of this association may not have survived to age 80.

    This study is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    Poul Holm-Pedersen, DDS, PhD is a Professor and Director of Copenhagen Gerontological Oral Health Research Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the recipient of the International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award for Geriatric Oral Research and has written widely on this subject.

    About the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
    The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society publishes articles that are relevant in the broadest terms to the clinical care of older persons. Such articles may span a variety of disciplines and fields and may be of immediate, intermediate, or long-term potential benefit to clinical practice.

    About the American Geriatrics Society
    The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is the premier professional organization of health care providers dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all older adults. With an active membership of over 6,000 health care professionals, the AGS has a long history of effecting change in the provision of health care for older adults. In the last decade, the Society has become a pivotal force in shaping attitudes, policies and practices regarding health care for older people. Visit for more information.

    About Blackwell Publishing
    Blackwell Publishing is the world’s leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals and 600 text and reference books annually, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

  • coal miner

    July 08, 2011
    Enter Search Keywords:
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    Dental Implants Bad Breath Teeth Whitening Porcelain Veneers Teeth Grinding TMJ
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    Foods That Stain Your Teeth 10 Paths to Whiter Teeth Treatments for Tooth GrindersMouth Fixes: Before & After Pics The Right Way to Brush TeethHow to Fight Gum Disease

    Select An Article All Subchapter Articles:Oral Health: Your Teeth From Birth to AdulthoodHelpful Hints for Healthy TeethLow-Carb Diet and Halitosis: Is The Way You Eat Giving You Bad Breath?Women: Hormones and Dental HealthTool: Can the Right Dental Care Save Your Life?Smoking and Your TeethDental Care and DiabetesSenior Dental CarePreventing Tooth Decay8 Steps to Help Bad BreathTips on Preventing Tooth and Mouth InjuriesFlossing Key for Fighting Gum DiseaseTongue Piercing: Things to ConsiderDo-It-Yourself Emergency Dental Care
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    Smoking and Oral Health
    Besides the link between tobacco and heart disease, stroke, emphysema, and cancer (especially lung and throat cancers), smoking leads to the following oral health consequences:

    Bad breath
    Tooth discoloration
    Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
    Increased build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth
    Increased loss of bone within the jaw
    Increased risk of leukoplakia, white patches inside the mouth
    Increased risk of developing gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss
    Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery
    Lower success rate of dental implant procedures
    Increased risk of developing oral cancer

    Recommended Related to Oral Health
    Picture of the Teeth

    Read the Picture of the Teeth article > >

    How Does Smoking Lead to Gum Disease?
    Smoking and other tobacco products can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. More specifically, it appears that smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums — which may affect wound healing.

    Do Pipe and Cigar Smokers Experience Fewer Oral Health Risks Than Cigarette Smokers?
    No, like cigarettes, pipes and cigars do lead to oral health problems. According to results of a 23-year long study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, cigar smokers experience tooth loss and alveolar bone loss (bone loss within the jawbone that anchors teeth) at rates equivalent to those of cigarette smokers. Pipe smokers also have a similar risk of tooth loss as cigarette smokers. Beyond these risks, pipe and cigar smokers are still at risk for oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers – even if you don’t inhale – as well as face the other oral health downsides of smoking – bad breath, stained teeth, and increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease.

    Are Smokeless Tobacco Products Safer?
    No. Like cigars and cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products (for example, snuff and chewing tobacco) contain at least 28 chemicals that have been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer and cancer of the throat and esophagus. In fact, chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it harder to quit than cigarettes. And one can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes.

    Smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissue, causing it to recede or pull away from your teeth. Once the gum tissue recedes, your teeth roots become exposed, creating an increased risk of tooth decay. Exposed roots are also more sensitive to hot and cold or other irritants, making eating and drinking uncomfortable.

    In addition, sugars, which are often added to enhance the flavor of smokeless tobacco, can increase your risk for tooth decay. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that chewing tobacco users were four times more likely than nonusers to develop tooth decay.

    Smokeless tobacco also typically contains sand and grit, which can wear down your teeth

  • coal miner

    Science News:
    How Cavity-Causing Microbes Invade Heart
    ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011) — Scientists have discovered the tool that bacteria normally found in our mouths use to invade heart tissue, causing a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart known as endocarditis. The work raises the possibility of creating a screening tool — perhaps a swab of the cheek, or a spit test — to gauge a dental patient’s vulnerability to the condition.

    Bacterial meningitis
    The identification of the protein that allows Streptococcus mutans to gain a foothold in heart tissue is reported in the June issue of Infection and Immunity by microbiologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    S. mutans is a bacterium best known for causing cavities. The bacteria reside in dental plaque — an architecturally sophisticated goo composed of an elaborate molecular matrix created by S. mutans that allows the bacteria to inhabit and thrive in our oral cavity. There, they churn out acid that erodes our teeth.

    Normally, S. mutans confines its mischief to the mouth, but sometimes, particularly after a dental procedure or even after a vigorous bout of flossing, the bacteria enter the bloodstream. There, the immune system usually destroys them, but occasionally — within just a few seconds — they travel to the heart and colonize its tissue, especially heart valves. The bacteria can cause endocarditis — inflammation of heart valves — which can be deadly. Infection by S. mutans is a leading cause of the condition.

    “When I first learned that S. mutans sometimes can live in the heart, I asked myself: Why in the world are these bacteria, which normally live in the mouth, in the heart? I was intrigued. And I began investigating how they get there and survive there,” said Jacqueline Abranches, Ph.D., a microbiologist and the corresponding author of the study.

    Abranches and her team at the University’s Center for Oral Biology discovered that a collagen-binding protein known as CNM gives S. mutans its ability to invade heart tissue. In laboratory experiments, scientists found that strains with CNM are able to invade heart cells, and strains without CNM are not.

    When the team knocked out the gene for CNM in strains where it’s normally present, the bacteria were unable to invade heart tissue. Without CNM, the bacteria simply couldn’t gain a foothold; their ability to adhere was about one-tenth of what it was with CNM.

    The team also studied the response of wax worms to the various strains of S. mutans. They found that strains without CNM were rarely lethal to the worms, while strains with the protein were lethal 90 percent of the time. Then, when Abranches’ team knocked out CNM in those strains, they were no longer lethal — those worms thrived.

    The work may someday enable doctors to prevent S. mutans from invading heart tissue. Even sooner, though, since some strains of S. mutans have CNM and others do not, the research may enable doctors to gauge a patient’s vulnerability to a heart infection caused by the bacteria.

    Abranches has identified five specific strains of S. mutans that carry the CNM protein, out of more than three dozen strains examined. CNM is not found in the most common type of S. mutans found in people, type C, but is present in rarer types of S. mutans, including types E and F.

    “It may be that CNM can serve as a biomarker of the most virulent strains of S. mutans,” said Abranches, a research assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “When patients with cardiac problems go to the dentist, perhaps those patients will be screened to see if they carry the protein. If they do, the dentist might treat them more aggressively with preventive antibiotics, for example.”

    Until more research is done and a screening or preventive tool is in place, Abranches says the usual advice for good oral health still stands for everyone.

    “No matter what types of bacteria a person has in his or her mouth, they should do the same things to maintain good oral health. They should brush and floss their teeth regularly — the smaller the number of S. mutans in your mouth, the healthier you’ll be. Use a fluoride rinse before you go to bed at night. And eat a healthy diet, keeping sugar to a minimum,” added Abranches.

    Abranches presented the work at a recent conference on the “oral microbiome” hosted by the University’s Center for Oral Biology. The center is part of the Medical Center’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health, a world leader in research and post-doctoral education in general and pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery.

    Additional authors of the study include laboratory technician James Miller; former technician Alaina Martinez; Patricia Simpson-Haidaris, Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine; Robert Burne, Ph.D., of the University of Florida; and Abranches’ husband, Jose Lemos, Ph.D., of the Center for Oral Biology, who is also assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. The work was funded by the American Heart

  • coal miner

    Science News
    Mutations in One Gene Cause Craniosynostosis, Delayed Tooth Eruption and Supernumerary Teeth
    ScienceDaily (July 7, 2011) — Researchers have described a new, recessively inherited human syndrome featuring craniosynostosis, maxillary hyperplasia, delayed tooth eruption and extra teeth. They also identified causative mutations in a gene IL11RA.

    In craniosynostosis, the sutures between skull bones become ossified prematurely, affecting skull shape and limiting space for the growth of the brain. It is observed in 1:2500 and often requires operative surgery. Supernumerary teeth are more common, and in most cases they also require dental surgery.

    A combination of these anomalies was observed in four children of a Pakistani family living in Denmark. Extra teeth developed in positions suggesting that they may represent a third set of teeth, the formation of which is normally prevented in humans.

    The parents of the family were first cousins, which made it possible to localize the gene in the genome (so called homozygosity mapping) and identify the mutation, causing a change of a single amino acid, in a gene for interleukin 11 receptor alpha (IL11RA). This is a protein on cell surface that binds the extracellular interleukin 11 and makes possible for the cells to sense the presence of this factor. When tested in cultured cell lines, the mutation inactivated the function of the receptor.

    The researchers also found four other mutations in IL11RA in patients from Pakistan, England and The Netherlands.

    “This is a quite novel discovery as IL11 — or the signaling pathway it belongs to — has not previously been associated with any inherited human disorders,” says Dr. Pekka Nieminen, the leader of the study (University of Helsinki). “The results show that IL11 signaling is essential for the normal development of craniofacial bones and teeth, and that its function is to restrict suture fusion and tooth number.”

    “We believe that normally IL11 mediates the complex tissue interactions that regulate replacement tooth development in mammals. In skull, IL11 signals are probably needed to regulate a process called bone remodeling in the edges of the skull bones, including site-specific regulation of bone apposition and bone resorption. Eruption of permanent teeth was also delayed in the patients with IL11RA mutations, and it may well be explained by defects in bone resorption that is necessary for teeth to erupt.”

    Exactly how and why the mutations lead to craniosynostosis may be possible to study in a knockout mouse model as the researchers also registered a peculiar growth anomaly, shortening and skewing of the snout.

    “In the future it may be possible to use modulation of IL11 signaling for treatment of craniosynostosis,” Dr. Nieminen believes.


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