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Can Dental Health Impact Fertility?

When we think about getting ready for pregnancy, dental health isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, recent studies are showing that it might be more important than we realize.

Here, we’ll explore how oral hygiene can impact fertility and whether improving it can help you start a family.

The Impact of Dental Health on Male Fertility

A systematic review released in 2016 found that men experiencing poor oral hygiene were more likely to suffer infertility. Issues such as cavities, tooth infections, and gum diseases like periodontitis, can lead to a proliferation of bacteria in the mouth.

These bacteria can travel around the body and contribute to higher bacterial levels elsewhere. This can lead to bacteriospermia, an infection in the semen, which is more commonly found in men suffering from oral infections. The condition can reduce sperm motility, which is crucial for fertility.

Infections in the body can also trigger an inflammatory response. When our immune system kicks into high gear to fight off these infections, it can sometimes get overzealous, mistakenly targeting and damaging otherwise healthy cells – including developing sperm. This autoimmune response can lead to a decrease in both sperm count and quality.

Another issue inflammation presents is it can increase oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a key factor known to impair sperm function. This can lead to issues like sperm deformities, which can significantly reduce a man’s fertility.

Research also indicates that men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to suffer from gum disease. The link seems to be rooted in systemic inflammation caused by poor dental health, which can compromise blood flow. This, in turn, makes obtaining and sustaining an erection more challenging, thereby impacting fertility.

How Dental Health Affects Female Fertility

Just like in men, problems with teeth and gums in women, like gum disease, can have unexpected effects on fertility.

The bacteria from gum disease can sometimes end up in the reproductive organs. This can cause problems for the embryo to implant in the womb, which is a crucial step in getting pregnant.

Inflammation can also affect the reproductive system. It’s like a chain reaction. The inflammation from a dental issue can make conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis worse, both of which are linked to fertility challenges.

Also, women with very active immune systems, often due to ongoing inflammation, may find it harder to get pregnant. This is because their immune system can mistakenly attack and destroy incoming sperm. It can also disrupt the embryo settling into the womb, or even increase the risk of miscarriage, especially in cases of IVF treatments.

So, taking care of your teeth and gums could do more than just prevent cavities – it may also be a step towards a healthier pregnancy journey.

Can You Improve Fertility with Good Oral Hygiene?

While it may be possible to improve fertility with good oral hygiene, it’s important to note that there are many causes of infertility.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Age
  • Medical conditions
  • Hormonal issues
  • Environmental factors

Poor oral health contributes to few infertility cases, though it is still something to be aware of.

At GENESIS we carry out an extensive evaluation to determine the root cause of your fertility troubles. After identifying the issue, we will put together an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your dream of starting a family.

If you would like to learn more about GENESIS Fertility New York or are ready to schedule an appointment, please speak with one of our representatives at 718-GENESIS.

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