Association of hypothyroidism with periodontal disease complexity

Authors: Lisa M. Yerke, Elaine L. Davis, Robert E. Cohen


Aim: Hypothyroidism (HT) is an endocrine disorder characterized by insufficient production of thyroid hormones and is associated with alterations in the gastrointestinal microbiome. Periodontitis is characterized by loss of attachment secondary to dysbiotic plaque biofilm. The objective of this retrospective study was to assess the potential association of hypothyroidism and periodontitis. We hypothesized that patients diagnosed with HT would exhibit a greater percentage of teeth with elevated periodontal probing depths. Materials and methods: Following IRB approval, 1,093 dental records initially were reviewed to obtain 832 patients ≥ 35 years-old (1996-2015). After excluding potentially confounding conditions, 538 records were further assessed. Significance was determined using independent sample t-tests adjusted for equality of variances, and chi-square tests of independence. Results: HT patients exhibited 61.4% of teeth with ≥ 5 mm probing depths, while 48.1% of non-HT patients had probing depths ≥ 5 mm (CI[95%]7.9%-18.8%; P<.001). Similarly, the percentage of teeth with ≥ 6 mm probing depths was 36.2% for HT patients, compared to 28.2% of teeth for patients non-HT (CI[95%]3.1%–12.9%; P<.001], approximately 28% greater among patients with HT. Conclusion: A greater proportion of probing depths ≥ 5 mm and ≥ 6 mm was associated with HT patients, suggesting more complex periodontitis. Dentists and endocrinologists might consider screening for HT and periodontitis, respectively, when appropriate.

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