Women who wish to get pregnant should be advised to brush their teeth and floss regularly as gum disease affects chances of conception, a fertility conference in Stockholm. Periodontal disease can delay the time it takes to conceive by two months on average, an effect similar to that of obesity in women, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) heard at its annual meeting.
For a long time we have known that risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and drugs affects mothers having babies that are born prematurely at a low birth weight. Some studies have suggested the possibility of an additional risk factor – periodontal (gum) disease. Pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. However, more research is needed to confirm how periodontal disease may affect pregnancy outcomes. All infections are cause for concern among pregnant women because they pose a risk to the health of the baby. The Academy recommends that women considering pregnancy have a periodontal evaluation.