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Can Gum Disease Affect Ovulation?

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Bacteria that causes gum infections appears to have a role in making conception take longer”.  According to a recent study, “Women with bacteria that causes gum disease in their saliva, P. Gingivalis, took three times longer to get pregnant than women without. And women with the bug as well as symptoms of periodontitis - disease of the gum and underlying bone - took four times longer”. Researchers believe that infection in the gums and jawbone leads to further inflammation in the body. This inflammation may prevent ovulation or could stop the embryo implanting. Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Researchers think gum disease might be a warning sign of problems elsewhere in the body - particularly type two diabetes and heart disease”. Additionally, post-menopausal women are more likely to die early if they have gum disease according to this study.  Women who lose teeth after the menopause are at a higher risk of an early death, experts have warned. A major study suggests gum disease and tooth loss is a red flag for severe health problems. Study leader Dr Michael LaMonte, of the University at Buffalo in New York, said no matter the cause of the link, more intensive dental screening in old age could help nip problems in the bud. Other possible effects are inflammation interfering with hormone production, as well as contributing to endometriosis, a condition where tissue that normally grows inside the womb grows elsewhere in the body.  Dr Susanna Paju, of the University of Helsinki said: ‘Our study does not answer the question on possible reasons for infertility but it shows that periodontal bacteria may have a systemic effect even in lower amounts, and even before clear clinical signs of gum disease can be seen. Thus, Dr. Johnson suggests that, “results encourage young women of fertile age to take care of their oral health and attend periodontal evaluations regularly”. How the study was carried out: Researchers at the University of Helsinki studied 256 healthy non-pregnant women aged between 19 and 42 who had stopped contraception and were trying to get pregnant. The health of their mouths and gums, as well as their reproductive organs, were examined.  Over 12 months they were observed as to whether they became pregnant or not.  Researchers believe gum infection leads to further inflammation that may prevent ovulation.   Key findings : Gingivalis Bacteria was ‘significantly more frequently detected in the saliva among women who did not become pregnant during the one-year follow-up period than among those who did.’ The research found women who either had P. Gingivalis in their saliva – or antibodies indicating they had been infected by P Gingivalis, were three times less likely to get pregnant, while those with the bacteria and signs of gum disease were four times less likely to get pregnant. The bacteria remained a factor even after other factors that have an effect on getting pregnant such as socioeconomic status, general health and smoking were considered. Original article:  www.dailymail.co.uk/health Artwork:  www.freepik.com  

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