There is a direct correlation between oral health, pregnancy and fertility, said Dr. Kami Hoss of The Super Dentists. For men, poor oral health can reduce their sperm count. For women, bacteria triples the risk of infertility before pregnancy and increases the risk of preeclampsia, diabetes and other medical conditions during pregnancy. And for babies, a mother-to-be’s poor oral health increases the risk of pre-term birth and low birth weight.
The direct association between dental hygiene and fertility is just another way teeth & gum health is tied to overall well being. From tooth infection and infertility to excessive bacteria in the mouth and other issues, The Super Dentists is here to answer all your questions about the connection between oral health, pregnancy and fertility.
Dental Hygiene and Fertility: How Oral Health Impacts Pregnancies & More
Ultimately, a mother-to-be cannot have a healthy body without a healthy mouth, Dr. Hoss says. Everything that happens in the mouth can affect a pregnant mother and her baby. However, there are many steps that moms-to-be can take to ensure optimal oral health before and during pregnancy, including:
- Brush your teeth regularly.Gum disease is more prevalent in moms-to-be, and as such, the teeth and gums may require extra attention during pregnancy. Fortunately, pregnant women who brush their teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once daily and maintain a balanced diet can minimize the risk of gum disease.
- Check your airway and sleep. If you snore or have sleep apnea, check with your physician or airway-trained dentist to be evaluated and if necessary wear a CPAP or dental/oral devices to keep the airway open during sleeping. Sleep apnea – where breathing stops and starts as a result of airway obstruction during sleep – can have devastating effects on the health of the mother and the fetus.
- Stay hydrated. Dry mouth may increase a pregnant woman’s risk of tooth decay and infection. Thus, it is important for a pregnant woman to drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth. Pregnant women may also chew sugarless gum as a way to increase saliva production.
Lastly, women should visit the dentist more frequently during pregnancy. Dr. Hoss notes approximately two-thirds of all women visit a dentist at least once a year, yet this figure drops to about 50% among pregnant women – despite the fact that dental visits are crucial for the well-being of a mom-to-be and her baby.
For men, tooth infections can lead to lower sperm count, and also negatively impact the sperm’s ability to swim. Excessive bacteria is the main culprit, similar to the female link between dental hygiene and fertility. The bottom line for men and women: take care of your oral health, and you’ll have a better chance to transition from a couple to a family! Questions About Tooth Infections and Infertility or Dental Hygiene and Fertility? The Super Dentists is Here to Help!
At The Super Dentists, we now see the parents of our patients. Moms- and dads-to-be – and current moms and dads – can be seen at the same time as their children to eliminate extra trips to the dentists. We provide standard dental check-ups, adult braces and other dental and orthodontic services to help parents address cavities, gingivitis and other oral health issues – all at our award-winning parent dentistry practice.
Plus, we can help women learn how to take care of their teeth and gums before and during pregnancy. And once the baby is born, we can help moms and dads develop and maintain good oral health habits for their children to start them on the path to healthy, beautiful smiles.
Getting your oral health in order is beneficial for your entire family – including, of course, your chances to have future family members!
Ready to set up a parent dentistry appointment with The Super Dentists? To find out more, please contact us today at 1 (855) GO SUPER, or text 1 (844) 765—1234. To discuss dental hygiene and fertility, or tooth infections and infertility and other issues related to pregnancy, click here to schedule an appointment.