A recent study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology examined the effect of the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis on conception in women. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, severe chronic periodontitis is the sixth most common medical condition. Periodontal disease has been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and premature birth. The systemic effects may be related to bacterial lipolysaccharide (LPS) and a pro-inflammatory state. The gram-negative bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans have been implicated in periodontal disease and systemic disease.
Infection and inflammation are related to fertility due to an affect on the ovary, uterus, embryo, and implantation. Another study has associated periodontal disease and endometriosis. Periodontal disease and infertility share common risk factors including age, obesity, and smoking, but the association needs further clarification.
An observational study was performed in a prospective setting with a cohort of young women trying to get pregnant. The mean age was 29.2 years with a range from 19-42 years from Finland. The main finding of the study was that detection of P. gingivalis in saliva and elevated salivary antibodies against this bacteria resulted in a significantly increased risk for unsuccessful conception. The results were independent of age, smoking status, socioeconomic status, and previous deliveries. P. gingivalis very well may delay conception or at least be a marker of this association.