In this video we are going to talk about oral health in the context of trying to conceive, how it can affect your fertility, hormones (for both men & women), the risks it has during pregnancy and what I would suggest doing to take care of your oral health.


This is mind blowing! I remember when I first learnt about this, I couldn’t believe the connection and how it can impact your ability to conceive.


For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Michelle Cooke Period & Hormone Naturopath. I am the Founder & Director of Reproductive Wellness. A clinic located in Melbourne (I see patients online and face-to-face). 


What does oral health have to do with fertility?

Now I hope that you have already had your dinner, because oral health isn’t the sexiest topic to discuss. and if you have had your dinner, I hope that you are able to keep it down ha ha.


When I am talking about oral health I am referring to dental hygiene so the health of your teeth and gums. Things like this show that your oral health is not in a good way:


  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)

  • Periodontitis (gum disease)

  • Tooth abscess (pocket of pus)

  • Caries (tooth decay or cavities)


These are all caused by bacterial infection. This bacteria doesn’t just cause havoc in your mouth, it spreads the love and moves throughout the body.



There is a link between poor oral hygiene and:

  • Azoospermia (no sperm in the semen)

  • Oligospermia (low sperm count in semen)

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Poor sperm motility (poor movement of sperm)

  • Impacts acrosome reaction (the ability of sperm to be able to lose its ‘beanie’ to be able to fuse with the egg and fertilise)

Two ways it can impact sperm:

-It is thought be from the increased bacterial load associated with chronic infection from the oral disease > Bacteriospermia (bad bacteria in semen) > poor sperm motility (sperm unable to swim in the direction towards the egg).

-Elevated proinflammatory cytokines (they regulate inflammation) associated with oral disease > chronic systemic inflammation (inflammation wide spread in the body) > sperm apoptosis (sperm death) & lower sperm count


One particular study showed that 33% women undergoing IVF were able to conceive after the men received dental treatment! Amazing!



There is a link between poor oral hygiene and:

  • Miscarriage

  • Unexplained infertility

  • Fecundity (ability to conceive each month)

  • PCOS

  • Endometriosis

  • Bacterial Vaginosis (imbalance of bacteria in the vagina)

  • During pregnancy: as a result of intrauterine infection:

  • Preterm birth (2x-7x increase) – baby is born too soon

  • Low birth weight

  • Preeclampsia (dangerous condition of high blood pressure threatens mum & child)

  • Premature rupture of membranes

  • Gestational diabetes

In fact, the oral microbiome is similar to the placental microbiome. A microbiome is a community of beneficial bacteria. We have a whole host of them living through our body.

What can you do to support oral health?

Regular dental visits

  • Keep them regular for a clean and check-up.

  • They can diagnose, treat & prevent periodontal disease and infection.

  • They can do a bacterial swab in the mouth to check for bad bacteria there

 Healthy gums and teeth care:

  • COQ10: this is a good one particularly for receeding gums which can be caused by bacterial infection

  • Botanical mouth wash formula: Essential Oxygen Rinse, Riddell’s Creek, A Vogel Dentaforce, My Magic Mud Organic Mouth Rinse, Grants Xylitol Mouthwash, Jason Powersmile, Auromere Ayurvedic Mouthwash

  • Xylitol chewing gum: Spry is a well-known brand. Xylitol decreases risk of dental caries by increasing saliva flow and pH therefore reducing plaque, reduces it sticking to the teeth surface bacterial and gum inflammation

  • Xylitol mouth spray: The Spry brand makes a mouth spray

  • Regular brushing – use a non-toxic fluoride free toothpaste: Grants, Weleda, My Magic Mud, Dr Bronner’s

  • Flossing – use a non-toxic fluoride free floss: Dr Tung’s Smart Floss, Aloe Dent Floss

  • Oil pulling:

 Use an oil like coconut or sesame and you swish it around in the mouth. The ultimate time aim is 20 mins. Usually, you would do this first and then brush your teeth afterwards.

What it does is forms an emulsion forming a detergent like substance & it’s fat soluble. This is good at disrupting biofilms because biofilms are fat loving lipophilic and hydrophobic (water hating). Biofilms are like a little bubble around the bacteria that protects it. Oil pulling is not enough on its own, weakens biofilm, need to clean teeth afterwards to eliminate bacteria.


So please if you are trying to conceive whether it be through IVF or natural fertility make sure that you are looking at dental hygiene very closely. It may very well be the missing factor you haven’t considered yet.


 Thank you so much for watching,  if you have any comments or questions pop them below.