When you and your partner decide that it’s time to start or grow your family, it’s a special time for everyone involved. You may feel that you and your partner have taken the necessary steps to prepare. However, dental care and having a healthy mouth is one thing that’s often overlooked when couples are trying to conceive.
Dental health can play a big role in fertility. Especially if you or your partner are suffering from gum disease. Practicing dentistry for more than 20 years, I have helped many couples with their dental health. Helping to ensure they have a healthy mouth increasing the chances of conceiving.
Here’s how gum disease can affect your fertility and some ways that you can work to prevent the condition.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is a bacterial infection in your mouth that causes inflamed gums. Early symptoms of gum disease include red, swollen gums, and bleeding during brushing.
Left untreated, symptoms can become more severe and cause receding gums or loose teeth. It can also quickly turn into Periodontitis which is a more severe form of the disease. Gingivitis is caused most often from poor oral hygiene habits. However, other factors can cause the disease as well. This includes medication, illness, and hormone changes.
This condition can have an effect on you and your partner’s chances of conceiving. So, if you think you may have gum disease, it’s important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible and discuss treatment plans in order to achieve a healthy mouth.
Gum Disease & Fertility
You may be wondering, how gum disease affects your fertility while trying to conceive a child? Well, women who suffer from gum disease may take up to seven months or more to conceive. This is in contrast to women who don’t have the disease and can conceive in about five months.
However, this goes for men as well. Men with poor oral health are more likely to face male factor infertility due to the elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth.
If you and your partner are trying to conceive, ask your dentist for a review of your gum health. You and your partner will want a healthy mouth so it doesn’t affect your fertility. Furthermore, increasing your chances of conceiving.
Taking Preventative Measures
Working towards preventing gum disease is the best way to keep your mouth healthy so it doesn’t affect your chances of conceiving. Continue practicing a good dental care routine. This includes;
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash
Other ways to help prevent oral diseases include;
- Reducing stress
- Maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins
- Avoiding grinding your teeth
However, even if you do take the proper measures to help prevent gum disease, you still may be susceptible to the disease. If so, your dentist or periodontist may recommend;
- More frequent check-ups
All in order to better manage the condition.
You can also work to combat the disease naturally, at home, if you choose. One study shows that the compounds in cranberries may help regulate periodontitis-related inflammation. They may also prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
While natural remedies can help prevent gum disease and lessen the symptoms, they may not work for everyone. So, if you suffer from severe gingivitis or periodontitis you will need to work with a dentist on treating the condition.
Vitamin C is another natural remedy for protecting your gum health. Research has shown that those who consume more vitamin C have a lesser risk of developing periodontal disease.
You can incorporate more vitamin C into your diet by eating foods such as;
Also, consider taking natural supplements of Vitamin C to help you increase your intake.
A final natural remedy that you can use to improve your dental health at home is oil pulling. This long-used method involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (i.e. coconut oil or sesame oil) around your mouth for about 15 seconds.
While the research on the health effects of oil pulling are limited, research has shown that this remedy may reduce plaque buildup and offer some protection against gum disease. You can do your own research as well or talk to your dentist about some ways you can naturally protect your mouth against tooth decay and gum disease at home.
As you prepare to grow your family, it’s important to embrace all the special changes that will be happening in your life. However, there may be outside factors that are affecting your fertility. One of course being your oral health and gum disease.
If you or your partner suffers from gingivitis, it can take you longer to conceive and affect your fertility greatly. That’s why it’s important to work towards preventing the disease and seeking treatment. All this could put you on the path towards conceiving quicker so you can bring a new life into this world.
For further information on fertility, click here to read, “Trying To Conceive? Follow These Important Steps!”