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Fast Facts: Perio Edition – Fibromyalgia & Periodontitis: The Bidirectional Link

Fast Facts: Perio Edition Episode 72
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Welcome back everyone! You are listening to another episode of Fast Facts- Perio Edition brought to you by A Tale of Two Hygienists in partnership with DentistRX. And now, please welcome your host, Katrina Sanders.
[Katrina Sanders, RDH]
Hello and welcome to Fast Facts Perio Edition. This week we are unpacking a new research study that has come down discussing the bidirectional associations between fibromyalgia and periodontitis.
Now, fibromyalgia, by its very nature, has been identified as a chronic disorder that has the propensity to cause pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and mood disorders that can oftentimes contribute to trouble sleeping. Scientists still do not fully understand what causes fibromyalgia, however, it is well known that individuals who do have fibromyalgia have a heightened sensitivity to pain. In addition, we have identified that women are more prone to fibromyalgia than men are. And while it can affect people of any age, even children, it typically starts in middle age and increases as one gets older. Individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis, for example, are individuals who may be more prone to fibromyalgia. That also includes individuals who suffer from depression or anxiety, chronic back pain, or even irritable bowel syndrome.
So we understood that now we’re seeing a growing patient population experiencing fibromyalgia. And now we are beginning to see large cohort studies, almost 200,000 patients in these studies, that have begun to evaluate the bi-directional link between fibromyalgia and periodontitis.And as you may suspect when critically looking at patients with periodontitis, the results indicated that individuals who have periodontitis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than patients who do not have periodontitis. This has been detected across both genders as well as age subgroups, and it was particularly noted in evidence in our male population and particularly in patients who were younger who presented with periodontitis.
Finally, they concluded in this research study that fibromyalgia patients who never had periodontitis presented with a greater risk for periodontitis over time. And so here we have our bi-directional link that when a patient has periodontitis, that they are more prone or present with a greater risk for fibromyalgia. And when an individual has fibromyalgia, they have an elevated risk for the development of inflammatory conditions, particularly including periodontitis. So now, as we continue to look at risk factors associated with that bi-directional oral-systemic link, fibromyalgia is added to that list.
Thank you so much for joining us this week as we unpacked Fast Facts Perio Edition, discussing the bi-directional link between periodontitis and fibromyalgia.
This has been another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition with Katrina Sanders, RDH. Please feel free to reach me on Instagram @thedentalwinegenist or on my website Cheers.
[Andrew Johnston, RDH]
Thank you for listening to another episode of Fast Facts – Perio Edition, brought to you in part by DentistRX makers of the InteliSonic line of power brushes. Find out more by visiting their website at We’ll see you next week for another Fast Fact!
Resource: ​​
Ma, K. S. K., Lai, J. N., Veeravalli, J. J., Chiu, L. T., Van Dyke, T. E., & Wei, J. C. C. (2022). Fibromyalgia and periodontitis: bidirectional associations in population‐based 15‐year retrospective cohorts. Journal of Periodontology, 93(6), 877-887.

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