A healthy smile is always more attractive, but it can also protect fertility in men and women. The reason why poor dental hygiene can negatively affect fertility is due to the increased risk of periodontal disease (gum disease) and tooth decay. Both are bacterial infections that can soon develop if you fail to brush and floss frequently enough, and if you do not have regular dental check-ups and hygiene appointments.
How Dental Hygiene Affects Men’s Fertility
In men, gum disease and tooth decay can negatively impact sperm health. A low sperm count, or poor sperm motility is more common amongst men with periodontal disease and the risk of erectile dysfunction is increased.
How Dental Hygiene Affects Women’s Fertility
Women with poor periodontal health are at greater risk of having a premature or low birth-weight baby. Poor oral health has also been associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, and with polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. Women with periodontal disease can take longer to conceive compared to women with healthy mouths.
One possible theory as to why poor oral health affects fertility is due to the body’s immunological response to the infection, as it needs to devote additional resources to fighting the infection. We recommend both partners receive a full dental check-up before trying to start a family. An appointment with our dentist and hygienist will allow us to check for and to treat any signs of disease, and to provide advice on how to maintain a healthy mouth, right throughout pregnancy. Once you become parents, the bacteria responsible for causing oral disease can easily be transmitted to your baby through kissing them, so maintaining a healthy mouth is even more important.