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Educating Patients on their Oral Health Options

Dentist Sandy Springs: Gum disease linked to infertility in women

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According to research presented at the American Academy of Periodontology conference in 2004,

gum disease is linked to women who

Angela=ina Jolie Pregnant

Angelina Jolie with child

use infertility treatments.[1] The study said women undergoing infertility treatment for more than three menstrual cycles experience increased inflammation and bleeding of the gums. These women also have increased levels of gingival crevicular fluid, which contains tissue breakdown products that may be markers for the progression of gum disease.[2]

The lead author Dr. Cenk M. Haytac, from Cukurova University in Adana, Turkey, postulates that these effects occur because these agents increase body levels of estrogen and the gums apparently are a target for estrogen since they contain estrogen receptors.  Though not definitive, several studies have shown  evidence that gum infections are associated with unsuccessful embryo development or the failure of in-vitro fertilization. Poor oral health is as bad for
fertility as obesity – delaying conception by about two months says latest research.[3]

Experts at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Sweden were presented with evidence how women with gum disease took over seven months to conceive, compared to the usual five months. The researchers believe the underlying cause is inflammation. Unchecked, this can set off a chain of reactions capable of damaging the body’s normal workings.

Periodontal disease has already been linked with heart disease, type 2 diabetes and miscarriage, plus poor sperm quality in men.  An Australian study involving over 3,700 women indicated that those with gum disease had raised blood levels of markers for inflammation.[4]   Although speculative, as a precaution researchers suggest that the treatment of gum disorders might influence the outcome of infertility treatment.  According to Dr. Michael P. Rethman, president of the AAP, “[i]t is reasonable to assume that if low levels of plaque are established and maintained during the infertility treatment, gingival inflammation would not affect the success of infertility treatment,”  “[which] would require meticulous oral hygiene and routine professional cleanings, perhaps at the beginning of each menstrual cycle to ensure the presence of healthy gums.”

Professor Roger Hart advises women trying to get pregnant to get a check-up by their dentist along with other measures like stopping smoking and drinking, maintaining a healthy weight and taking folic acid supplements.  UK fertility expert Dr. Allan Pacey said, “It’s common sense advice really to make sure you are in a healthy condition [including good oral health] if you want to try for a baby.” Around 10% of the population is believed to have severe periodontal disease.[5]

So if you are trying to get pregnant and are unsure of your oral health please see your dentist.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com


[1] Journal of Periodontology, June 2004

[2]Ibid.

[3] Ananya Mandal, MD. Gum Disease Linked to Infertility. (2011)

[4] Professor Roger Hart, of the University of Western Australia.

[5] Gum disease linked to infertility http://www.news-medical.net/news/20110707/Gum-disease-linked-to-infertility.aspx. Screen clipping taken: 8/30/2011 5:09 PM  Posted in: Women’s Health News

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Author: Drs. Novy and ZoAnna Scheinfeld and Hanna Orland

Our team provides your family with contemporary, rewarding, and comfortable dental care. In our Sandy Springs office, patients come first. Everything we do, from the office design, to our clinical and management training, to the friendly atmosphere we foster in the practice, is for your pleasure and satisfaction. Dr. Scheinfeld, a graduate of Emory University School of Dentistry and her associates understand the importance of balancing health and beauty for an amazing smile. Our comprehensive studies in cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and general dentistry, supported with state-of-the-art technology, deliver the strong, healthy, beautiful smile you deserve—the smile you'll feel comfortable sharing with your world.

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