Is It True That Dental Hygiene Affects Fertility?
Good dental and oral hygiene can not only give a beautiful smile and show healthy teeth but actually, it can also make you more fertile. From the research that appears, dental health can have an impact on how long a woman can get pregnant whereas, in men, gum disease and tooth decay have been linked to poor sperm health. The possibility of a relationship between dental hygiene and fertility applies to men and women.
During pregnancy, poor oral health is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preterm labor, preeclampsia, and also having babies born with low weight. Ensuring your teeth and gums are healthy is not only important for fertility but also for your child who has not been conceived.
Periodontal, Gingivitis, and Health
Most studies on fertility and dental health focus on periodontal disease such as swollen, red gums, the danger of swollen and soft teeth becoming a possible sign of periodontal disease. A dental hygienist will look for evidence when checking the gums. The process involves taking a dental device known as the probe periodontal, which is a thin and long metal pick with a blunt end and a measurement indicator that gently presses the instrument into the pocket or tissue space between the gums and teeth.
Measurement of pockets or deeper space indicates the possibility of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation of the gums, supporting tissues and also the jawbone. Without treatment, loss of teeth and irreparable damage to the jawbone can occur. Between 1 in 10 people will experience severe periodontal disease.
You may also have heard of gingivitis or gum inflammation in almost half of adults. Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease that involves inflammation of the gums but does not cause bone loss like periodontal disease. But this inflammation of the gums can develop into periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene can cause gum inflammation.
Periodontal disease is associated with health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and also strokes. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS and endometriosis and in men with erectile dysfunction will be more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than others.
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Dental Health and Male Fertility
Some studies have found that if men with poor oral health or other types of dental diseases both from excessive cavities or untreated and also periodontal disease, it will be more likely to experience male factor infertility, especially when compared to normal sperm health.
Low sperm count, poor sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology, and evidence of bacterial infection in segments associated with various dental and oral health problems. While for men who experience erectile dysfunction will be more likely to have gum disease.
A number of studies have found that treatment of cavities such as hollow canines and dental infections can actually improve the health of semen. However, this is an area that requires further research and not all studies have found direct improvement after dental treatment was carried out.
Relationship between Oral Health and Sperm
There are several theories that explain the relationship of poor oral health to sperm. First, cavities, dental infections, and gum disease involve high levels of bacterial growth in the mouth. Increased levels of bacteria in the mouth can cause increased levels of bacteria in other areas of the body.
Second, when the body struggles with infection and tooth decay, the body’s immunological response will overdrive. Infection and also the immunological response may be concentrated in the mouth but this can still cause an increase in inflammation throughout the body and in turn, can cause the immune system to attack healthy and non-threatening cells such as developing sperm cells.