Could Your Smile Be Hurting Your Fertility?

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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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