Inadequate dental hygiene can affect fertility in both sexes. Gum disease and tooth decay have been linked with poor sperm health and sperm quality in men, while in women poor dental health may increase the time needed to conceive. Most of the research into the connection between dental health and fertility focuses on periodontal disease or gum disease. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection and can easily develop if you fail to brush and floss properly and do not visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Women with periodontal disease may be more likely to suffer infertility or problems during IVF treatment, or to have a miscarriage. In men, poor oral health has been associated with a lower sperm count and reduced sperm motility. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are caused by a bacterial infection, creating an immunological response as the body fights the infection. It’s thought this immunological response could potentially lead to the immune system attacking healthy cells, including sperm cells.
If you are planning a baby, it’s a great idea to make sure you are up-to-date with your dental check-ups and cleanings. Good oral health could potentially reduce the time needed to conceive and helps to protect your baby during pregnancy.