Gingivitis can increase the time a woman takes to get pregnant

Periodontal disease is a chronic and infectious disease caused by normal bacteria that exist in the mouth and, if not controlled, are able to inflame the gums around the tooth and the tissues that act as support.

It begins by pushing the teeth and creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that end up becoming infected. The inflammation generates a cascade of tissue destruction that can pass into the circulation.

Periodontal disease has been associated with cardiac pathology, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney diseases and pregnancy problems, such as abortions and premature births.

About 10 percent of the population could suffer from severe periodontal disease. Regular brushing of the teeth and flossing are the best way to prevent them.


The United States researchers followed a group of 3,737 pregnant women, who were part of a study developed in this country, called ‘Smile Study’. Of these 3,416 women, a total of 1,014 (26%) had periodontal diseases.

The authors analyzed the pregnancy planning information and its results in 3,416 of them. They discovered that women with periodontal disease took an average of seven months to achieve a pregnancy, two months more than the five months on average that women without this disease had to conceive.

In addition, they found that women who were not Caucasian and suffered periodontal diseases were more likely to take a year to become pregnant, compared to those without gingivitis: their risk of conceiving later was 13.9 percent greater than 6.2 percent of women without this disease in their gums.

Caucasian women with gum disease also tended to take longer to conceive than those who did not have this disease, but the difference was not statistically significant.

The researchers obtained information on the time for conception from 1,956 women, and of these, 146 took more than 12 months to conceive, an indicator that fertility is damaged.

They were more likely to be older, non-Caucasian, smokers and have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 kg / m2 (a person’s BMI is equal to their weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squares).

Recommend visiting the dentist

According to researcher Roger Hart, professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western United States (Perth, United States) and medical director of Fertility Specialists of Western United States, he has said that this work is “the first to suggest that periodontal disease could be one of the factors that could be changed to improve the chances of getting a pregnancy.”

“The presence of periodontal disease is a modifiable risk factor, which can increase the time of conception of a woman, especially in non-caucasians, noting that the negative influence on fertility that has this disease of the gums is “similar in magnitude to that of obesity.”

This study also confirms other negative influences on the time of conception of a woman, among which figure over 35 years of age, be obese or overweight and be a smoker,” he adds, noting that “there is no correlation between the time women are slow to get pregnant and their socioeconomic status. ”

For Hart, the results of this work indicate that, in addition to taking the precautions that doctors usually recommend to women seeking pregnancy – such as quitting smoking or consuming folic acid – it would be positive for these women to visit the dentist for check that they do not have any disease in their gums. These types of problems are easy to deal with and do not need more than four visits.