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Invisalign vs Braces

Plenty of persons own crooked teeth which will require accurate alignment. In essence, the finest acknowledged treatment designed for all these kinds of problems shall be the use of braces. However, due to the launch of Invisalign, it will be better to look at the Invisalign Vs braces issue to be able to decide the right one.

Invisalign is a new form of brace which can be easily removed. A variety of sets of aligners could also be worn permitting you to determine fine results after several weeks of use. This really is an amazing choice than the conventional braces plenty of persons are using. One chief dissimilarity when we talk about Invisalign Vs braces is that the aligners can be removed if it is necessary even though, you will need to wear them often in order that excellent results will come out. Additionally, the solution designed for Invisalign is invisible that’s why you may manage to wear aligners the whole day through devoid of having to let others know that you happen to be wearing them.

The essential advantage in using Invisalign is its imperceptibility. Efficient results do not merely occur instantly, nonetheless, if wearing of imperceptible aligners is continuous, definitely you will have more self-confidence and your self-image will get better.

Easiness in wearing is one more benefit with the use of Invisalign. This is essentially made to fit  your mouth and whenever you are by now accustomed to it, it will turn out to be extremely cozy as well as enjoyable to wear. Invisalign is created from hard-wearing and clear plastic of superior quality together with sets of aligners which will be capable to align the teeth in an ongoing method. With normal braces, metallic brackets as well as wires are utilized to fix the misalignment of teeth. The aligners of Invisalign are changed every two weeks for another set until such time the teeth will reach their preferred arrangement.

When it comes to Invisalign Vs braces, there will be no gum irritation with Invisalign and you may be able to clean as well as floss your teeth within the usual technique. Your standard of living will not be affected while using the remedy procedure for the reason that the aligners are indistinguishable. The conventional braces, nonetheless, are tremendously helpful particularly in grave occasions by which Invisalign just isn’t adequate. In spite of the fact that picking out concerning Invisalign Vs braces may be a complicated task, it is better to be aware of their benefits and detriments so that you can determine the appropriate treatment for you in the end.

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How to Find Dental Coverage for Dentures

dental coverage for dentures

Getting dentures is not a simple procedure. In fact, it involves a great deal of dental work. Most individual and group insurance does not cover this restorative procedure, even if it is necessary in order to take the place of missing or decayed teeth. Because the procedure can be expensive, it is definitely worth your while to do everything you can to find affordable dental coverage for your dentures.

Do Your Homework

Take some time to learn the basics about dental insurance. In general, there are two types: preventive and restorative. Preventive refers to check-ups, cleanings, and other care that is designed to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Restorative, on the other hand, describes such interventions as endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics and implants. Getting dentures falls into this category.

Ask the Important Question

Now that you have a layperson’s knowledge about dental insurance, you need to learn specifically about your own coverage. Unfortunately, many patients know little or nothing about the details of their plan, especially when it comes to what procedures will be covered and to what extent. Now that you know you need dentures, you should ask your insurer’s member services department if they will be covered. Usually, dentures fall under the umbrella of “major care.” If you are fortunate, your plan might pay for up to 50% of the cost.

What if I’m Not Covered?

If your current plan falls short, you might have to do some scrambling. If your coverage is furnished by your employer, ask when the next open enrollment window is and see if there are other companies who provide better dental coverage for dentures. If so, seriously consider switching. Talk to your employer and learn about all of your options. Even if you must buy your own individual coverage, you may save money in the long run. 

How Technology Can Help

Another valuable avenue you can pursue as you seek as much information as possible about sources of dental coverage is the Internet. With the help of search engines like Yahoo! And Google, you can search the worldwide web to learn about companies both large and small. Often, consumers have taken the time to post reviews which, while they must be taken with a grain of salt, can furnish information and insight.

Don’t Forget About Human Interaction

While obtaining resources online can be an excellent method to expand your knowledge and to figure out what questions to ask, there truly is nothing like face-to-face or phone-to-phone conversation when it comes to getting the facts and understanding them. That is why your next step should be to speak to a local insurance agent or helpful representative about the various options available to you. Explain specifically that you need to get dentures and are looking for dental coverage that will pay as much as possible of the cost. Together, you might find that your best option is an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) and that you will need to choose a dentist within the HMO’s network to provide your care. On the other hand, you might choose a PPO (preferred Provider Organization), which allows you to have more freedom of choice when it comes to who will provide your dentures.

Before You Sign on the Dotted Line

If you think you have found the plan that’s right for you, take as much time as you need to investigate all of its fine print. Remember, this will be your dental coverage for at least the next year and it must make sense for your overall care, not just for your denture procedure. Be very clear in your understanding of all out-of-pocket expenses and up-front costs. The more you know now, the less likely is the chance for nasty surprises later.

One More Vital Question to Ask

Before you commit yourself to any dental insurance, you should also investigate one final method of helping to cover the costs of your dentures. Dental discount plans like the Careington 500 Series plan are an increasingly popular alternative to traditional dental insurance. They are gaining traction because they are enabling patients to save a great deal of money for a very low monthly price. They are able to do this because large groups of dentists agree to provide patients with high-quality, lower-priced services, including dentures.

Having your teeth extracted and then being fitted for dentures is a major procedure. It is costly and time-consuming, and you absolutely should feel good about the dentist who gives you your new dentures. Learning all you can about your dental coverage and saving as much money as possible will go a long way toward making getting dentures much easier.

For more information, please call Dr. Jeffrey Fester in Roswell, GA, 770.587.4202 to schedule a free consultation.

Where Can I Find an Affordable Individual Dental Plan in Today’s Economy?

Everyone needs dental care, but in today’s troubled economy, it can seem difficult to find an affordable individual dental plan to help cover the dental treatments you need. Sometimes it may seem as if hard choices must be made, to get the dental care you need or to pay other household bills. With an affordable dental plan, you no longer have to make those hard choices.

Affordable individual dental plans are not the same as dental insurance. Unlike dental insurance, discount dental insurance plans are available to everyone. Whether you are unemployed, retired, a student, a senior, or the owner of a small business, you can get the dental services you need with an affordable individual dental plan.

There are affordable options for individual dental plans, student dental plans, senior dental plans, and retiree dental plans. So now everyone can get discounts on quality dental care. Affordable dental plans will give you access to thousands of dentists, including many in your area.

Unlike dental insurance plans, discount dental plans save you money from the day you sign up for your membership. Take the card to the dentist and you will get a discount on any service you need. You simply pay the balance. That’s it.

Individual dental plans are easy to join. Often you can sign up online. There is no paperwork, no pre-approval, and no cap on benefits— and no exclusions. In addition to services like check-ups, fillings and root canals, you will get discounts on braces, and on cosmetic dentistry. For senior dental plans, discounts apply to dentures and any other services that are needed.

Best of all, individual dental plans are affordable. The cost of a discount dental plan generally ranges from $80 a year for an individual to about $130 for a family. The discounts you will receive range from 10% up to 60% on most dental services. For students on a budget, this means not having to put off necessary checkups.

So how do you find the right discount dental plan for you?

First and most important, look for an affordable dental plan that is licensed by your state. Licensing means that the plan must conform to state regulations.

Second, check to see if dentists in your area accept the plan you are considering.

Finally, check the provisions of the plan against your dental needs. Make sure that discounts are offered on the treatments and care that you believe you may need.

Once you have done all this, choose the affordable individual dental plan that is licensed and best meets all your needs. Then you will have peace of mind knowing that you have access to affordable dental care whenever you need it.

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When is a Dental Crown Needed?

A Dental Crown is commonly known as a tooth cap or a dental cap. A Dental crown is a restoration that covers the outer surface of a tooth (like a cap) and is cemented to the tooth with the help of dental cement. Discussed below in detail are functions of dental crowns and the need for a dental crown.

Functions of a Dental Crown are to

  • Restore the form, function and esthetics of a tooth
  • Improve the strength of a tooth
  • Protect the underlying tooth from any mechanical, chemical, or thermal injury.

When should Crown be given on a Tooth?

Badly Decayed Tooth If a tooth is extensively destroyed by carious process, it cannot be restored to its proper form & shape by any filling material.

How to decide whether to place a filling or a crown on a carious tooth?

If there is a small cavity in a tooth it can be successfully restored by a filling but placement of filling in a large cavity can hamper the integrity of a tooth structure and may cause its fracture. To retain the filling in the tooth, an adequate amount of tooth structure should be present. A filling which is greater than 1/3rd the width of a tooth is considered a large filling which can compromise the strength of a tooth.


Fracture of a tooth when filling is placed in a large cavity


Crown placement over a tooth prevents its fracture by encasing the tooth structure

Cracked Tooth: A crack may appear in a tooth due to excessive chewing forces or a large filling. Treatment of a cracked tooth depends on the position and depth of crack. If crack affects one or more cusps of the tooth then a crown has to be placed on the tooth. If crack is deep and reaches the pulp of tooth, then first a Root Canal Treatment is done and then tooth is covered by a crown. If crack is present very near to the gum line of tooth, then the gum line of the tooth has to be raised and then the crown is placed on the tooth. But if a crack is present in the root of the tooth, then the tooth has to be extracted and replaced by a bridge or implant.

Root Canal Treated Tooth: If the tooth has undergone Root Canal Treatment (RCT), it may become weakened during preparation of access cavity and it also gets brittle due to loss of fluid substance of the tooth during RCT. So, it is more prone to fracture as compared to a normal tooth. Thus it should be covered by a crown to minimize the chances of its fracture especially if large cavity is created in the tooth during RCT.

In certain cases due to extensive caries more than 2/3rd of the crown structure of tooth is lost; such a tooth is not able to support an artificial crown. So, firstly a post is placed inside the root of tooth, core build up is done and then crown is placed over post and core.

Placement of post and core build up Crown placement over core build up

Fractured Tooth: If tooth is fractured to such an extent that it cannot be restored by a filling, then placement of crown becomes inevitable to restore shape, form and function of tooth.

A fractured tooth

Amelogenesis Imperfecta: It is a hereditary condition in which enamel portion of tooth is very brittle, it gets fractured very easily leaving the dentin of the tooth uncovered which further leads to tooth sensitivity. Then the dentin being softer than enamel wears off easily and the pulp of the tooth may get exposed which causes severe pain. So, to protect the teeth affected by amelogenesis imperfecta, they should be covered by crown.

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta: It is a hereditary condition in which dentin of the tooth is defective. So, dentin cannot properly support the enamel leading to wearing of both enamel and dentin casing pulp exposure. So, teeth affected by dentinogenesis imperfecta are protected by their restoration with crowns.

Discolored Teeth: Certain discolorations cannot be treated by bleaching procedures such as discoloration due to severe fluorosis and tetracycline staining. Teeth with such discolorations are covered by crowns so that their color matches with that of adjacent non affected teeth and they are esthetically pleasing.

For Prosthetic Purposes: In some cases of a removable partial denture and tooth supported overdenture, teeth have to be covered by crowns to give them a proper contour so that they can properly support a denture. In fixed partial denture (bridge) cases, to replace a missing tooth by a bridge, teeth immediately adjacent to the space have to be covered by crown to support the artificially replaced tooth.

Crown placed over 2nd premolar and 2nd molar to replace missing 1st molar

Nursing Bottle Caries: In children affected with nursing bottle caries syndrome, deciduous (milk) teeth get extensively damaged at a very faster rate especially the upper front teeth. So, they should be covered with temporary crowns not only for proper function & esthetics but also to maintain the arch length integrity so that permanent teeth can erupt at a proper place.

Importance of Dental Hygiene

Anyone who wants a healthy, white smile knows that proper dental hygiene is the only way to get it. Healthy gums and teeth make for an attractive smile. Not taking care of your mouth and teeth can lead to some serious health issues.

Along with decaying teeth and retracting gums, poor dental hygiene also causes bad breath and mouth infections. Serious dental conditions can cause life-long issues, even causing problems in other parts of the body, such as the jaw and the sinuses. Bacteria that fill a persons mouth can be very dangerous.

Treatment for problems caused by neglecting to brush correctly and regularly can be costly. Many insurance companies do not pay for some procedures, claiming them to be cosmetic. Cosmetic surgery may be the only option for some people who have seriously ignored the care of their teeth.

To maintain proper dental care, a person needs to brush and floss regularly. Dental check-ups need to be regular. A proper cleaning by a dentist eliminates extra bacteria and stains that normal brushing might leave behind. Your dentist can advise you what kind of toothbrush is best for your particular mouth, whether it be the soft, medium or hard bristle, electric or manual. Choosing a toothbrush will ultimately be a personal choice, although a dentist will be able to tell you if the brush you are using is too hard, causing bleeding gums. Flossing gets out any food debris that is left behind. A dentist will be able to remove anything that is left behind.

There are different brands and kinds of toothpaste that can be used. It is best to choose a toothpaste with a good amount of fluoride in it, as this is a substance that greatly enhances tooth enamel and prevents future tooth decay.

Cavities and periodontal gum disease are the outcome of poor dental care. There are levels of periodontal disease but even at the lowest risk, when the disease is just beginning, the treatment is extensive and costly. Taking preventative measures by properly caring for the teeth and gums saves money and time in the long run.

Antiseptic mouthwash is another element of dental health. There are different types that can be bought over the counter in any grocery or department store. Using an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing is another added measure that can be taken to clean bacteria and food out of the mouth.

Regular check-ups are necessary for the proper maintenance of the teeth and gums. No one can explain better what will happen to your teeth without these preventative measures than a dentist. They can also spot decay, disease and other conditions in the early stages when something can be done about it. They will also help repair damage that has been done and provide counseling on how to proceed.

With the help of a good dentist, anyone can create a healthy dental hygiene schedule. If you can get in the habit of brushing twice a day, flossing and watching your sugar and coffee/tea intake, your teeth will maintain good health and attractiveness.

Article Source: Ezine Articles – Adriana_N

Oral Hygiene

Your oral hygiene says almost as much about you as the clothes you wear and the expertise on your resume. Sadly, good oral hygiene is something that so many people neglect during their daily routine leading to tooth discoloration and decay, bad breath, and gum disease. By following these 5 simple tips for daily oral hygiene you will be sure to make a great first impression every time while maintaining an overall positive health routine.

1) Brush your Teeth daily, at least twice:

While the rule of thumb is to brush your teeth three times a day, that may often be difficult for many in the work force to keep up with. While brushing your teeth three times daily is certainly ideal, you will want to make sure that you brush your teeth first thing in the morning and just before bed. Most commercial toothpastes include a fluoride additive which must remain on your teeth for approximately 30 minutes to be fully effective. Brushing your teeth prior to bedtime is essential in removing plaque buildup, bacteria, and food particles from your mouth that may form cavities during the night.

2) Floss your Teeth as often as you brush:

Flossing seems to be the bane of existence for many people during their oral hygiene routine. Unfortunately, this one step is more important than even daily brushing according to most dentists. Flossing physically removes plaque and germs in areas that brushing alone cannot reach. The two major complaints regarding flossing both revolve around the issue of comfort. Many people experience discomfort when flossing due to bleeding at the gum lines. As you build up a tolerance and develop healthier gums this bleeding will soon diminish. The physical discomfort of holding floss can be lessened by purchasing individual flossing handles which are not much more costly than floss itself.

3) Choose a good oral rinse:

Much like flossing, the oral rinse has earned a nasty reputation for itself due to the sting of alcohol. Several products on the market have been released which do not clean with alcohol, but still provide all of the germ killing benefits of their alcohol fuelled brethren. Besides providing a minty-fresh wash to your mouth, an oral rinse will get into the cracks and crevices of your teeth that, like flossing, brushing alone cannot reach.

4) Clean your tongue and gums:

Your tongue is quite literally connected to the inner workings of your body. Throughout the day it can build up just as much plaque and bacterial waste as the rest of your mouth. Tongue scrapers are an option to pull off excess tongue waste, but a simple pass over with your toothbrush will often suffice.

5) Avoid too many sugary foods:

Just like doing 1,000 sit-ups a day will not help you build a six pack if you don’t alter your diet, maintaining good oral health involves watching your intake of foods. Foods high in sugar may sit on your teeth and start damaging their enamel just a few minutes after being consumed. If possible, try to brush as soon as you can after eating sugary foods.

Maintaining good dental hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. So in between regular visits to the dentist, follow these 5 simple steps, they will help decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

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Common Dental Problems

Virtually all teeth problems can be solved by the dentist. The result is not only an improvement in the smile but also an improvement in appearance and the overall quality of life. Having beautiful teeth enhances self esteem and one will no longer have to feel awkward when meeting new people or speaking in front of others. With perfect teeth, one can eat, talk, and laugh with confidence.

One of the most common teeth problems encountered is discolored teeth. There are several reasons why teeth lose their whiteness. Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and wines can stain teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth. Poor dental hygiene and inadequate brushing is also a contributing factor. Genetics also plays a role in the color of the teeth and some people just have naturally whiter teeth. With age, the outer layer of the teeth naturally wears away, revealing the dentin layer, which is naturally yellowish in color. One can prevent teeth discoloration by improving dental hygiene, regular flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleaning twice a year. Today, there are also treatment options available to whiten the teeth. Applying a bleaching agent to the enamel can remove discoloration. A light activated bleaching gel can also significantly whiten teeth in less than an hour although follow up treatments are needed. The teeth can also be covered with bonding materials. Another treatment method is by applying veneers, which may be thin composite or dental porcelain shells that are placed on the outer surfaces to cover the stained natural teeth.

Worn or cracked teeth are usually due to grinding and chewing on hard objects. The teeth can hurt when chewing or when the teeth are exposed to extremes in temperature. The treatment will depend on the type and extent of the crack. Sometimes, severely cracked teeth can no longer be repaired and would need to be extracted. This is the reason why regular visits to the dentist are very important. The dentist can spot hairline cracks, thus preventing further damage. Cracks can sometimes be restored with filling materials. If the damage has reached the nerve, a root canal treatment is done and a crown is placed to restore the tooth. In vertical breaks or split tooth or when the tooth has weakened from a cavity, the tooth may have to be removed.

Crooked teeth can adversely affect self confidence. Conventional braces have been used for years to move the teeth gradually and eventually straighten them. Typically, it takes two to three years before these can be removed. Today, there is an option not to wear these ugly metal wire braces. Especially for adults, metal braces across the teeth can be deemed unattractive. Invisible braces are made of clear plastic and are removable teeth aligners. These also require fewer return visits to the dentist or orthodontist so they are suitable even for busy people.

Another common problem is misshapen teeth. Teeth can be misshapen either naturally or as a result of extensive wear and tear. Teeth that are naturally misshapen can be covered with veneers or can be reshaped using dental bonding techniques. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that fit snugly over the natural teeth and are very effective in hiding misshapen teeth. The result is a perfect smile.

Dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are long term or permanent replacements. A dental surgeon places a titanium metal in the jawbone. After three to six months, this is naturally and completely fused with the jawbone. An abutment is then fitted over the implant and a crown is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance. Dental implants are becoming the preferred choice over bridges or removable dentures because they not only look and feel natural, they prevent bone loss that would generally occur with tooth loss.

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Get a Bright Smile

Cosmetic dentistry can generally be defined as the process of fixing the appearance of a person’s teeth. The procedure involves improving/treating a person’s oral disorders relating to gums. It may include removal or addition of dental material or may involve treating a person’s teeth to improve their appearance (bleaching) or straightening of teeth according to one’s face structure.

There are several reasons for which people opt for cosmetic dentistry. Some are desirous of age-old visually appealing smile to improve their overall appearance while some seek this to improve their dental defects like gap between teeth, mouth reconstruction to solve problem related to bite, mending broken or chipped tooth or whitening stained teeth.

Previously, dentist or orthodontist as they are known in medical parlance were mainly concerned with oral hygiene but the modern field of cosmetic dentistry encompasses not only identifying or treating oral disorders but improving the overall dental appearances through the application of various methods involving the usage of porcelain or composite materials for indirect fillings, veneers for gaps, implants for tooth replacements or aligners for correcting teeth misalignment almost invisibly.

One of the dental problems that most people have is malocclusion i.e. Misalignment of teeth or the condition where teeth are crowded. In simple language, occlusion means the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. If they aren’t you are having crooked teeth. The upper and lower teeth are ideally aligned in a way that protects the cheeks, lips and tongue from getting bitten.

The reason for this may be hereditary, childhood habits, extra or lost teeth, injury to jaw bones etc. The effects may vary depending on the severity of the condition that may range from being mild to severe. Mild problems can be treated with simple cosmetic dentistry procedure while severe require elaborate orthodontic treatment.

If one is suffering from this problem Cosmetic dentistry can be the solution. Many of the dental imperfections like crowding or crookedness can be treated through cosmetic dentistry.

However, the idea of having teeth straightened leads to images of braces and brackets which is quite unappealing to many and a person may think twice before allowing a foreign apparatus to be fixed to their teeth for over a year and sometimes even more depending on the severity.

However, due to the recent advances in the field of cosmetic dentistry it is now possible to have your teeth corrected without the need of wearing braces or brackets anymore in mild or moderate cases. There are aligners which involve unique processes that provide a hygienic and convenient solution to the problem of teeth alignments.

The new technique in cosmetic dentistry of brace-less or wire-less or bracket-less corrections have been put under several clinical trials successfully and therefore now introduced for clinical usage which in turn have proven a success in a variety of malocclusion.

So from now onwards one need not worry about the braces and wires anymore for the new techniques have made them redundant. Say hello to a beautiful smile.

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Invisible Braces For Teeth Are The Top Choice For Adults

Many adults did not get the orthodontic treatment that they needed as a child or teen. They may have an overbite, crooked teeth or noticeable tooth gap. When someone feels self-conscious about the condition of their teeth, they often avoid smiling or laughing when they are around other people. They may even avoid having their photo taken or attending certain social situations because they are embarrassed about the way that their teeth look. It is never too late to get the perfect smile. Orthodontists have many adult clients.

In the past, most adults avoided getting braces because they did not want to have a mouth full of metal. Having to wear metal braces for a couple of years is not a good option for those who work in a professional environment. Today, adults can get invisible braces for teeth that can barely be seen by others. Invisible braces are a great option for adults who do not want their braces to be noticeable. Famous actors like Tom Cruise and Robert Pattinson have chosen to wear invisible braces as adults.

Invisible braces for teeth are also perfect for self-conscious teenagers who do not want their smile to stand out. The cost for invisible braces is not too much greater than the price of the metal variety. The best part about clear braces is that most people do not even notice when someone is wearing them. From a distance, they are completely unnoticeable, and they are even difficult to notice up close.

An adult who gets invisible braces for teeth will not only end up with a perfect smile, but they may also be preventing future teeth, jaw, gum or mouth problems. Orthodontic treatment is not only about beauty it is also about dental health. Adults who decide to get braces should make an appointment with their local orthodontist. The orthodontist will take x-rays, measurements and dental impressions in order to properly evaluate the bite. They will then explain whether or not braces are a good idea and provide information on a treatment plan. Most people wear braces for one or two years, but in some cases individuals must wear them for a longer period.

Once someone gets invisible braces for teeth they may experience some level of discomfort. Although everyone with braces experiences soreness now and then, most people do not find the process to be too painful overall. Very few people regret wearing braces once their treatment plan is finished. They love being able to show off their gorgeous new smile.

Gum Disease Can Increase The Time It Takes To Become Pregnant

For the first time, fertility experts have shown that, from the time that a woman starts trying to conceive, poor oral health can have a significant effect on the time to pregnancy.

Professor Roger Hart told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that the negative effect of gum disease on conception was of the same order of magnitude as the effect of obesity.

Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic, infectious and inflammatory disease of the gums and supporting tissues. It is caused by the normal bacteria that exist in everyone’s mouths, which, if unchecked, can create inflammation around the tooth; the gum starts to pull away from the tooth, creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that become infected. The inflammation sets off a cascade of tissue-destructive events that can pass into the circulation. As a result, periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease, and problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage and premature birth. Around 10% of the population is believed to have severe periodontal disease. Regular brushing and flossing of teeth is the best way of preventing it.

Prof Hart, who is Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia) and Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia, said: “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.”

The researchers followed a group 3737 pregnant women, who were taking part in a Western Australian study called the SMILE study, and they analyzed information on pregnancy planning and pregnancy outcomes for 3416 of them.

They found that women with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant – two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive.

In addition, non-Caucasian women with gum disease were more likely to take over a year to become pregnant compared to those without gum disease: their increased risk of later conception was 13.9% compared to 6.2% for women without gum disease. Caucasian women with gum disease also tended to take longer to conceive than those who were disease-free but the difference was not statistically significant (8.6% of Caucasian women with gum disease took over one year to conceive and 6.2% of women with gum disease).

Information on time to conception was available for 1,956 women, and of, these, 146 women took longer than 12 months to conceive – an indicator of impaired fertility. They were more likely to be older, non-Caucasian, to smoke and to have a body mass index over 25 kg/m2. Out of the 3416 women, 1014 (26%) had periodontal disease.

Prof Hart said: “Our data suggest that the presence of periodontal disease is a modifiable risk factor, which can increase a woman’s time to conception, particularly for non-Caucasians. It exerts a negative influence on fertility that is of the same order of magnitude as obesity. This study also confirms other, known negative influences upon time to conception for a woman; these include being over 35 years of age, being overweight or obese, and being a smoker. There was no correlation between the time it took to become pregnant and the socio-economic status of the woman.

“All women about to plan for a family should be encouraged to see their general practitioner to ensure that they are as healthy as possible before trying to conceive and so that they can be given appropriate lifestyle advice with respect to weight loss, diet and assistance with stopping smoking and drinking, plus the commencement of folic acid supplements. Additionally, it now appears that all women should also be encouraged to see their dentist to have any gum disease treated before trying to conceive. It is easily treated, usually involving no more than four dental visits.

“The SMILE study was one of the three largest randomized controlled trials performed in Western Australia. It showed conclusively that although treatment of periodontal disease does not prevent pre-term birth in any ethnic group, the treatment itself does not have any harmful effect on the mother or fetus during pregnancy*.”

Prof Hart said that the reason why pregnancies in non-Caucasian women were more affected by gum disease could be because these women appeared to have a higher level of inflammatory response to the condition.

* Published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 114, no. 6, December 2009