SEOUL, March 17 (Korea Bizwire) – A Korean medical research team has discovered a correlation between menstrual irregularity and periodontal disease.
Research has been conducted to define the relationship between menstrual irregularity and systemic diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and heart diseases, but the new Korean study marks the first time that a correlation with periodontal diseases has been proven.
The research team of professors Park Jun-bum and Ko Young-gyoung from the Department of Periodontics at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital discovered the correlation after investigating 1,553 pre-menopausal women between 2010 and 2012.
The main symptoms of menstrual irregularity are defined to be random periods, dry spells that last two to three months, short menstrual cycles, short periods and atypical bleeding.
Women in their childbearing years usually have a menstrual cycle of 28 days, but when it is less than 21 days, or over 35 days, the symptoms could be defined as menstrual irregularity.
The study showed that only eight percent of healthy women had periodontal diseases, but this grew to 17.9 percent among women with a menstrual cycle of three months.
Of note, 18.6 percent of the women who did not have their period for three months turned out to be in urgent need of treatment for their gums, proving the hypothesis – those with more severe menstrual irregularity also have more severe cases of periodontal diseases – to be correct.
Professor Park explained that women with menstrual irregularity had a 1.76 times higher chance of getting periodontal diseases. This means that random periods could be a potential risk factor for gum infection, as androgen (the male hormone that triggers inflammation) increases when menstrual irregularity continues.
Periodontal diseases are caused by dental plaque, which refers to germs that remain inside the mouth even after brushing teeth. Plaque clings to the teeth and infects surrounding tissues. The gums get swollen, bleed, form pus, and in severe cases, bone structure can be compromised.
Experts say that finding and treating periodontal diseases at an early stage is the most effective cure, but professor Park adds that women who also have irregularity in their menstrual cycles should receive appropriate treatment at the same time as they treat their gums, so that the root of the problem can be cured.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)