Hemochromatosis and Periodontal Disease
Updated: Oct 1, 2018
How many of you are familiar with hemochromatosis? Hemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder that affects over one million Americans. It is more common than I realized, it is also a genetic disorder. I recently had a patient present with Classic Hemochromatosis. Honestly I was not very familiar with the disease, I knew that it was a disease that caused the patient to have an overload of iron in their blood, but beyond that I had no information. Upon doing radiographs and FMP, it was evident that this patient had moderate to severe periodontal disease. I became curious if there was any link between this disease and periodontal disease. I started researching and initially I came across the website www.Hemochromatosis.org, there I discovered hemochromatosis is associated with many other diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, liver cirrohsis, liver cancer, hypothyroid, and gall bladder disease just to name a few. I saw nothing relating hemochromatosis to periodontal disease, so I decided to widen my search and go to the good ole trusty PubMed/NCBI. DING DING DING!!! We have a winner! A case study was conducted and published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology in September of 2017. The case study concluded that "Severe periodontitis is associated with the severity of iron burden in patients with HFE related hereditary hemochromatosis. Dental examination should be included in the initial assessment of all these patients." There is a non stop influx of diseases related to oral health. I was so excited to be able to further discuss this with my patient. He was very thankful, and it helped my patient understand that he needs to be diligent with all his periodontal maintenance appointments in the future, due to his heightened risk of relapse. I love it when patients teach me things I may never have learned otherwise. I thought this was interesting information to share. Click the image below to read the case study for yourself.