Thursday, May 3, 2012

Periodontal disease: a potential modifiable risk factor limiting conception

Last week we saw a statement from the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Periodontology, and the American Dental Association dealing with idea of whether periodontal disease contributes to  heart disease.  It seems that the current scientific evidence does not support a link between the two.   Now that doesn't mean that there is no link, it just means that the science does not indicate one at this point in time.
Therefore, I find it ironic that just one week later comes this study dealing with the idea that having gum disease can work against a woman how is trying to get pregnant.  Here are the background and methods:

BACKGROUND Periodontal disease (PD) is a common chronic infectious and inflammatory disease of the gums and its supporting tissues, associated with several adverse health outcomes including significant obstetric consequences. PD is treatable with good oral hygiene and dental care, and consequently is a modifiable variable that may lead to improvements in adult health. To date, there are no published studies describing the influence of PD on a woman's time to conceive (TTC).

METHODS This study formed part of the Smile study, which was a multi-centre randomized controlled trial of treatment for PD in mid-pregnancy. PD was defined as the presence of pockets ≥4-mm deep at ≥12 probing sites in fully erupted teeth. At the time of recruitment, women were asked about their TTC and whether they had required fertility treatment.



For the full study from Oxford Journals, click here.  


Also for more good oral hints and interesting facts from the Dole Institute, click here.  



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