Research Links PCOS and Gum Disease
by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Are you suffering at every dental cleaning? Do you have gingivitis? Inflamed gums?
I always suspected, and now research has proven it to be true…
PCOS is linked to poor gum health (1, 3).
When I was struggling with PCOS in my twenties, I was also struggling with gum health. My gums were often inflamed despite dedicated oral hygiene. My dentist suggested cleanings every 3 months instead of every 6 to stay on top of it. I often asked if my oral health issues had anything to do with PCOS, and, of course, they would dismiss my concern.
Now that I eat an anti-inflammatory diet and take supplements to reduce inflammation like PCOS Diva Ultra DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil and Diva DeFlame, I have no problems with gum health. I also credit my habit of oil pulling. Read more about oil pulling in my article, “What Are the Benefits of Oil Pulling.”
You may already know that gingivitis is a bacterial inflammation of your gums that can spread into systemic problems including heart disease and potentially miscarriage(7).
Most Americans struggle with conditions like gum disease at some point in their lives, but if you have PCOS, you are much more likely to have this problem. Studies find that, “the susceptibility for periodontal disease is significantly increased in patients with PCOS compared to age- and BMI-matched healthy young women, and that local/periodontal oxidant status appears to be affected in PCOS(3).”
What causes gum disease and gingivitis?
Many factors may contribute to the disease.
• poor dental hygiene
• pH imbalance
• uncontrolled metabolic disorders such as hypothyroid and diabetes(4)
• systemic inflammation (a key component of PCOS)
• elevated levels of progesterone (which dilates blood vessels and blocks collagen repair)(4)
Why do women with PCOS struggle with oral health?
It is unclear if the systemic inflammation associated with PCOS contributes to gum disease, if gum disease contributes to existing inflammation, or if they “act synergistically (1, 2, 5, 6) .”
Interestingly, one study found that, “Women with newly diagnosed PCOS may have increased prevalence and likelihood for periodontitis, with higher measures of periodontal inflammation and breakdown than those on medical treatment for PCOS and systemically healthy females.(5)”
What can we do to fight it?
• Practice good oral hygiene- Get regular check-ups, brush, floss, and avoid sugary foods and drinks.
• Try oil pulling
• Reduce systemic inflammation– Inflammation associated with PCOS is often reduced by eliminating inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy. Consider supplements which reduce inflammation.
1. Akcalı, A., B. Bostanci, O. Özçaka, B. Öztürk-Ceyhan, P. Gümüş, T. Tervahartiala, H. Husu, N. Buduneli, T. Sorsa, and GN Belibasakis. “Elevated Matrix Metalloproteinase-8 in Saliva and Serum in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Association with Gingival Inflammation.” Innate Immun. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Feb. 2015. Web.
2. Akcalı, A., N. Bostanci, O. Özçaka, B. Öztürk-Ceyhan, P. Gümüş, N. Buduneli, and G. Belibasakis. “Association between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Oral Microbiota and Systemic Antibody Responses.” PLOS ONE:. PLOS, 18 Sept. 2014. Web.
3. Dursun, E., G. Guncu, N. Cinar, A. Harmanci, M. Ozbek, E. Karabulut, TF Tozum, K. Kilinc, FA Akalin, and BO Yildiz. “Periodontal Disease in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.” Endocrine Abstracts. Endocrine Abstracts, 2009. Web.
4. “Gingivitis.” Clinical Key. Elsevier, 2012. Web. 25 Sept. 2015.
5. Porwal, S., S. Tewari, RK Sharma, SR Singhal, and SC Narula. “Periodontal Status and High-sensitivity C-reactive Protein Levels in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome with and without Medical Treatment.” Pubmed.gov. J Periodontol, 4 Mar. 2014. Web.
6. Özçaka, O., BO Ceyhan, A. Akcali, N. Biçakci, DF Lappin, and N. Buduneli. “Is There an Interaction between Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Gingival Inflammation?” National Center for Biotechnology Information. J Periodontol., Dec. 2012. Web.
7. Roizen, Michaeld, MD. “How Does Gum Disease Increase the Risk of Miscarriage?” Sharecare. Sharecare, 2015. Web.
In the article about gum disease, did you mean elevated levels of estrogen, rather than progesterone?