Perio disease a risk factor for conception

Non-caucasian women may find it hard to conceive if they have periodontal disease.

While periodontal disease has been associated with problems in pregnancy, including premature birth and low birth weight, a new study from the University of Western Australia has found the condition may also affect a woman’s ability to conceive.

The study, published in the latest issue of the journal Human Reproduction, is the first published study describing the influence of periodontal disease on a woman’s time to conceive. This study formed part of the Smile study, which was a multi-centre randomised controlled trial of treatment for perio disease in mid-pregnancy. Of 3737 pregnant women recruited to the study, information was available from 3416 spontaneous conceptions, including 1014 cases with periodontal disease (29.7 per cent).

Periodontal disease was present in 23.8 per cent of Caucasian women and 41.4 per cent of non-Caucasian women. Compared with Caucasian women without PD, non-Caucasian women with PD had an increased likelihood of taking more than 12 months to conceive.

However, there appeared to be no difference for Caucasian women with periodontal disease. In the non-Caucasian population, periodontal disease was associated with an increased time-to-conceive, but the authors conclude that whether this is related to PD, or some other factor also present within this population, should be further investigated.


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