Research presented at the the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology earlier this year showed that periodontal disease (gum disease) might increase the length of time it takes for a woman to become pregnant. Periodontal disease has been linked to many different types of systemic disease. Periodontal disease can lead to inflammation and bleeding around the gums which can lead to spaces called periodontal pockets.
The research was led by Roger Hart who is a Professor of Reproductive Medicine and is also Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of the University of Western Australia. A total of 3737 pregnant women in the study were followed and outcomes of pregnancy were looked at for 3416 of the 3737 pregnant women. It was found that women who had periodontal disease (gum disease) took around 7 months to become pregnant while those women who did not have periodontal disease took roughly 5 months to become pregnant.
Professor Hart said
“Our data suggest that the presence of periodontal disease is a modifiable risk factor, which can increase a woman’s time to conception, particularly for non-Caucasians. It exerts a negative influence on fertility that is of the same order of magnitude as obesity.”
The reason why non-Caucasians have longer time’s to conception while having periodontal disease may be due to a higher level of inflammatory response.
More information on periodontal disease and how it is a risk of keeping wisdom teeth is found on the risks of keeping wisdom teeth page on this site. Due to the link of periodontal disease with many different types of systemic disease it has received much attention from researchers lately and is often a reason given for why healthy wisdom teeth should be extracted at a young age. Even so there is a lot of controversy on whether or not healthy wisdom teeth should be extracted as discussed on the wisdom teeth controversy page of this site.
Source: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Gum disease can increase the time it takes to become pregnant. July 5, 2011. http://www.eshre.eu/membership/page.aspx/1355