New research suggests flossing for fertility

For women who want to improve their chances of having a baby, researchers say to floss daily and schedule regular dental appointments.

In research presented on July 5 at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Stockholm, poor oral health was linked to fertility problems, delaying conception by about two months.

In a study involving more than 3,500 women, researchers found that women with gum disease took more than seven months to conceive a baby, compared to the usual five. Why? Inflammation, which when left unchecked can interfere with the body's normal functionings, said lead researcher Roger Hart of the University of Western Australia.

In previous studies, chronic gum disease has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, low sperm count in men, and miscarriage. Researchers from the University of Buffalo in New York found that gum disease was also linked to a higher risk of throat or neck cancers.

"Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman's chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy," said Hart in a release.

Around 10 percent of the population is thought to have chronic and severe periodontal disease.

If you're trying to conceive, Hart recommends not only daily flossing but regular dental visits. In addition, he suggests stopping smoking, abstaining from alcohol, keeping your weight in check, and taking prenatal vitamins that include folic acid.

Read the release: http://www.eshre.eu/ESHRE/English/Press-Room/Press-Releases/page.aspx/1355

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