November 7, 2013

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Oral health is an important component of general health. Periodontal disease also known as gum disease is a chronic, infectious, and inflammatory disease of the gums and surrounding tissues and has been linked to taking longer to conceive.

Periodontal disease is caused by the normal bacteria that exist in everyone’s mouth, which if unchecked, can create inflammation around the tooth. The gum starts to recede or pull away from the tooth creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that can become infected. Periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease and problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage and preterm birth. Oral health and pregnancy is important. Researchers in Western Australia reported the results of “The Smile Study” finding that in women trying to conceive, poor oral health can have a significant effect on the time of pregnancy to the same magnitude as the effect of obesity.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility