By P., Piero D.D.S.
Research in the last few years has shown that periodontal disease is linked to one’s general health. There are international researchers reporting on these links every day. The latest studies by the University of Michigan Endometriosis Center reported the possibility that there is an association between endometriosis and periodontal disease. Both are immune response deficiencies. In the study, women with endometriosis had a 57% higher chance of having perio issues than those without endometriosis. The study consisted of over 4000 women.
Endometriosis is an concern found in women of childbearing age. Often causing pain, abnormal bleeding and sometimes infertility, it is the thickening of the outside of the uterus. No one knows the actual cause for endometriosis. Depending on age and whether the patient wants to become pregnant determines the treatment plan. Medications such as pain relievers, hormone treatment, oral contraceptives and others are often used. For severe cases or in those treating infertility, surgery is another option.
Periodontal disease is a chronic infectious inflammation found in the mouth. The word comes from “peri” meaning around and “dontal” meaning tooth. Some degree of this disease affects over eighty percent of all adults. Perio infection (affecting soft tissue) and tooth decay (affecting hard tissue) are the most prevalent diseases on the planet earth, however, because it’s in the mouth, out-of-sight, it is often put out-of-mind. Swollen gums, loose teeth, painful chewing and bleeding gums are some of the symptoms. Often there are no outward symptoms. Therefore it is imperative that you see a dentist regularly since they can determine if periodontal disease or gingivitis exists and to what extent.
No one knows for sure the reason for the possible link between periodontal disease and endometriosis.
Like most studies, this one was not conclusive but does indicate that perio disease affects the whole body, not just the mouth. Women should visit a dentist every three months and if periodontal disease is present, should undergo treatment immediately. Finally, impeccable home oral care is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy.
– Dr. Piero, a Holland, MI dentist for over thirty years, is the inventor of Dental Air Force®. Articles published are on periodontal health related to heart disease, respiratory health, diabetes, strokes, and other systemic diseases. He is the Executive Editor for Journal of Experimental Dental Science, a contributing author to Hospital Infection Control: Clinical Guidelines and soon-to-be published book, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.