It can take a Caucasian woman with gum disease about 2 months longer to get pregnant than a similar woman without gum disease, and (strangely) for non-Caucasians it can take up to 12 months longer! Source.
“What?… That’s mad!” you might say, but actually, it isn’t. If you view health the way most doctors and dentists do – with the ‘standard’ reductionist mindset – this is not an easy idea to square away, but if you see human health holistically, in a more interconnected way, then you’ll see nothing at all mad about this idea.
Periodontal disease may be the most common disease of all and is associated with a lot of chronic degenerative conditions including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease – and now we can add infertility. What’s going on?
Too much of the wrong oral bacteria damages gums by inflaming them, sure, and this eventually leads to gum disease. This is bad, but the research is saying that the same bacteria can migrate out of your mouth and travel elsewhere in the body causing tissue destruction there too. Heart disease is becoming increasingly connected with this idea lately, but what about fertility – could oral bacteria cause trouble for your ovaries or womb too? It looks like it – but I’m going to suggest a different way to view this.
We know if people keep their mouths scrupulously clean, they can prevent damage to their gums and teeth, so it seems like a cut and dry idea – clean your teeth and you’ll be fine. Sure, in the western world this seems to be true – the problem is it’s not reflected in healthy traditional cultures, who (shock horror) have no oral care at all, even to the point of having what we would regard as dirty teeth, yet they rarely suffer any sort of gum disease. These cultures are rare today, but the point is – something is protecting them – and it’s not oral hygiene!
What exactly it is – is up for debate, but historical records tell us such cultures had up to ten times the level of fat-soluble vitamins in their natural diet and two to three times the level of B-vitamins than we do in the modern world. They didn’t drink chlorinated water or eat sugar-laden foods either. Their internal terrain was solid!
The real issue is less to do with oral bacteria damaging the gums, or indeed traveling from the gums to somewhere in the body and damaging it, and more to do with a common set of conditions that allows both issues to happen.
Yes, we can point to the migration of bacteria along the nerves and lymphatic transport systems, but it’s deeper than this, there’s a bad vibe or a bum note that is playing in the body that is setting the scene for stuff to go wrong – this is the essential issue. This is the issue with much infertility too.
What the official guardians of our oral cavity fail to tell us is the same thing the medical fertility world fails to tell us – the problems we are experiencing are not isolated to one part of the body, they are systemic and the solution to them is to rise the tide of health in the whole body – not just in one spot in the body.
The specific answers may be missing from this article, but more important is the thinking process that enables you to seek and find those answers in your own life. Brush your teeth, sure, but you can worry less about periodontal issues when you get your body humming the right notes too – the same goes for fertility!