You probably don’t think about oral and reproductive health being related. But gum health plays a direct impact on a healthy reproductive system, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. Both males and females alike can experience a correlation between oral diseases like periodontal disease (periodontitis) and their reproductive health.
Periodontal Impact on Men
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is directly linked to chronic gum diseases. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that periodontal infections can cause ED, research does show that how you treat one of the conditions can impact the other.
Men with gum disease are three times more likely to have symptoms of ED. We know that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease can strain your cardiovascular system, which can in turn lead to inflammation and blood flow issues elsewhere in the body.
But here’s the good news. Men with erectile dysfunction and gum disease who receive periodontal therapy tend to gradually see improvement in their ED symptoms within a matter of months. So, if you’re taking medication for ED or still haven’t talked to your doctor about it yet, you might want to try treating your co-existing periodontal condition to see how it improves your overall health and performance.
Periodontal Impact on Women
Periodontal disease can significantly raise a woman’s chances of pregnancy complications. Pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, giving birth to a baby with a low weight, miscarriage, and stillbirth are all linked to chronic periodontitis in pregnant women. The co-existing infection can potentially spread through the placenta, ultimately placing your unborn child at risk.
Joint Impact on Couples Trying to Conceive
Men and women alike who struggle with periodontal disease are more likely to struggle with infertility. The condition is not biased against one gender over the other. But couples who do address existing oral infections have been shown to conceive in a shorter time period than those who have untreated periodontitis and are trying to conceive.
How is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
Periodontal disease frequently presents itself with symptoms of:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Red gum tissues
- Tartar buildup
Although not everyone experiences the same symptoms, if you have at least two or more of these common signs, it’s likely that you have at least some form of periodontal infection. During an exam, we will physically measure the attachment tissues and bone around your teeth to establish a concrete diagnosis. If you catch gum infections early enough, they’re still completely reversible. But if it’s more advanced (and severe enough to affect other health conditions) our expert periodontist in The Woodlands can help.
Healthier Smile, Better Reproductive Health
Although it’s impossible to make the claim that treating gum disease will instantly reverse any reproductive health concerns, science definitely shows a correlation between the severity of the two. The more severe your periodontal disease is, the greater at risk you are for underlying health issues. Fortunately, study after study shows that people’s overall and reproductive health tend to improve within a few months of managing chronic oral diseases like periodontitis.
If you suspect that you have gum disease and are struggling with co-existing medical conditions, we encourage you to call our office to schedule a periodontal exam.