Health-conscious women who take action to maintain their oral health could be improving their chances of getting pregnant, experts have suggested.
Scientists from the University of Western Australia have discovered a link between inflammation of the gums and a poor fertility rate.
Speaking at a meeting in Sweden, researchers revealed that females with gum disease took more than seven months to conceive, compared to with the usual five months.
The study has led experts to urge women to attend regular dental check-ups, as well as stopping drinking and smoking, in a bid to help them get pregnant.
Lead researcher Professor Roger Hart said: "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."
Flossing, which has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and arthritis, can strengthen teeth and gums by removing harmful bacteria from hard to reach hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.