The Pain in Your Abdomen Might be Related to the Disease in Your Mouth
By P., Piero D.D.S.
A growing number of studies have found numerous links between periodontal disease, also referred to as perio or gum disease, and our overall health. One study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility and carried out at the University of Michigan Endometriosis Center acknowledged the possibility that there’s a association between periodontal disease and endometriosis. These conditions are both immune response impairments. With more than 4000 women participating in the study, the results showed that women with endometriosis had a 57% higher likelihood of having periodontal issues than those without it.
Endometriosis affects women of childbearing age and unfortunately, there is not an absolute cause for the condition. The source is a thickening of the outside area of the uterus that results in abnormal bleeding, pain and in some cases infertility. Treatment depends on age and if the patient is planning on getting pregnant in the future. Some treatment options are pain relieving medications, oral contraceptive and hormone treatment. Surgery is an option for severe cases and those having infertility management.
About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease or gum disease affects people of all ages, gender and ethnic backgrounds. Its symptoms are often overlooked until the disease is serious. Bad breath, puffy, red or bleeding gums, painful chewing and loose teeth are some of the symptoms. Eighty percent of the population will have some form a periodontal disease in their lifetime. It is a chronic infection that inflames the tissues and arteries of the whole body – not just gums and teeth. Prevention requires impeccable oral hygiene. Treatment requires the care of a dentist.
The Periodontal Disease – Endometriosis Connection
It is unclear of why there may be a connection between periodontal disease and endometriosis. The University of Michigan’s researchers came to the conclusion that, “Although it is conceivable that the multifactorial development of endometriosis may be augmented by an immune response to an infectious agent, the potential underlying link between endometriosis and periodontal disease may be a generalized, global immune dysregulation.”
References: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18394619), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2674278/
As with so many other studies on the link between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases, this study is another strong indication that gum disease has an effect on overall health. It’s important that women visit a dental professional regularly. I recommend every 3 months for those wanting to get pregnant, having a high risk of breast cancer, diabetes, endometriosis or having any gum disease present.