August 17, 2017
Having gum disease could affect a young woman’s ability to conceive, says a new study. That means a visit to the periodontist in Florham Park could do more than just boost your oral health — it could have a big impact on your overall reproductive health.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed. It affects the majority of adults over the age of 35. Given its impact on overall health — gum disease has been linked to heart disease, uncontrolled blood glucose levels, memory loss, and more — improving periodontal health should be a matter of great concern for public health.
Fortunately, gum disease is easy to treat when it is caught in its earliest stages. Visiting your dentist or periodontist for routine checkups is the best way to encourage better oral health and to prevent the damaging effects of gum disease.
About the Study
This study from the University of Helsinki, Finland is the first of its kind to suggest a direct link between gum disease and conception or the ability to become pregnant. Previous research has been limited to the connection between the condition and general health.
256 healthy women who were not pregnant were studied. All had given up contraception in order to become pregnant.
The research showed that participants who had the bacterium “porphyromonas gingivalis,” which is closely associated with gum disease, were significantly less likely to become pregnant after one year than those who did not have the pathogen.
Several of the participants didn’t even have full-blown gum disease yet — they merely carried the bacteria. Those who did have signs of periodontitis were 4 times less likely to become pregnant than those who did not.
What It Means for You
Every year we are adding to the growing pile of research that speaks to the link between gum health and systemic well-being. Studies like these call more attention to the importance of regular dental hygiene for maintaining good periodontal health. This particular research suggests there is special concern for women of childbearing age who wish to conceive, especially.
As researcher and periodontist Susanna Paju from the University of Helsinki says, “Our results encourage young women of fertile age to take care of their oral health and attend periodontal evaluations regularly.”
So what can you do? Start by scheduling a checkup and cleaning with your dentist — or if you know you have gum disease, don’t delay in seeking treatment ASAP. Your life depends on it!
About Metropolitan Periodontics & Implantology
Dr. James Rynar has developed a reputation as one of the go-to periodontists in metropolitan New York. He has earned Advanced Certification, achieved Fellowship status, and is a Certified Instructor for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry — and he knows well the link between periodontal health and overall wellbeing.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rynar, we invite you to call us at (973) 377-3131.
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