Expert Explains Link Between Fertility & Dental Health

Oral health and fertility in both males and females, as well as pregnancy, are directly correlated.

Written by: Varun Verma Updated at: 2023-03-31 15:39

Oral health and fertility in both males and females, as well as pregnancy, are directly correlated. A male’s sperm count and swimming abilities can be affected by poor oral health. Similarly, in women, the chances of infertility before pregnancy get increased thrice by oral bacteria. Dr Kalyani Shrimali, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Indore, explains the link between fertility and dental health.

Periodontal Disease and Reduced Fertility

Periodontitis, a gum condition brought on by poor oral hygiene, might raise the risk of premature birth and low birth weight kids. The germs that cause gum disease can also enter the bloodstream, causing immune system inflammation and problems with fertility. Therefore, both men and women can be affected by the potential link between dental health and fertility.

Gums that are swollen, red, and sensitive could indicate periodontal disease. When they prod our gums, the dental hygienist is seeking proof of this. During this procedure, a periodontal probe, a thin, long metal pick with a blunted end and measuring indicators, is inserted gently into the tissue pockets present between the gum and the tooth. Many health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, are linked to the use of tobacco products. Men with erectile dysfunction and women with endometriosis who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) are more likely than the general population to have periodontal disease.

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Oral Health & Male Fertility

There is a lot of bacterial growth in the mouth when you have oral health problems, like gum disease, cavities, and tooth infections. Bacterial spread in other areas of the body can also occur from the bacteria in the mouth. When compared to males with adequate sperm health, research has shown that men with poor oral health, whether from excessive and untreated cavities or periodontal disease are more likely to experience male factor infertility. 

Several dental and oral health issues are linked to low sperm counts, poor sperm motility, aberrant sperm morphology, and signs of bacterial infection in the semen. While erectile dysfunction is not a typical symptom of male infertility, individuals who have it are more likely to suffer gum disease. Most men with infertility have little to no visible symptoms. According to a few research, treating dental diseases and cavities did lead to better semen health.

Secondly, it is probable that the same risk factors contributing to poor dental health also contribute to infertility. For instance, smoking can have a detrimental effect on infertility and increases the incidence of periodontal disease.

Also ReadHow Poor Oral Health Impacts Brain Health, Expert Explains

Oral Health & Female Fertility

One possible reason for the connection between bad oral health and female fertility is an immunological link. This can be compared to the theory for periodontal disease and male infertility issues. The immune system may become too reactive because of periodontal disease. Alternatively, a hyperactive immune system might make people more susceptible to periodontal disease. It has been discovered that infertility, miscarriage, and unsuccessful embryo implantation during In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment are all more common in women with overactive immune systems.


One should consult a dentist or dental hygienist for a comprehensive review of their gum health. Maintaining healthy gums and oral health requires routine dental cleanings.  The best way to prevent cavities from becoming serious and affecting our fertility is to have routine check-ups. Important medical advice for couples wanting to conceive is to lead healthy lives by abstaining from alcohol and smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising frequently, managing stress, eating a diet high in nutrients, and maintaining good oral hygiene.


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