At the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy, doctors met a rare case of gingival hirsutism. That’s hair growing inside the mouth, on the gums. It is just exceptional, and not unique because back in the sixties, cases of male gingival hirsutism were registered.
The recent case started ten years ago when a 19 years female patient first came to see the doctors. After investigating possible reasons for the ectopic hair growth, the patient tuned out to suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a reproductive condition connected to hormonal imbalances.
Hair grows on the gums of a woman, due to a rare medical condition
Hormonal imbalance in this type of affection can induce hirsutism, but on parts of the body that already have follicles. The tissue inside our mouth does not. After surgically removing the unwanted hairs, the doctors recommended her oral contraceptives and hormonal surveillance.
After six years, the patient stopped the hormonal treatment, and the affection relapsed. She came back to the doctors at the University. They harvested a small section of tissue to look under the microscope, and they found a hair shaft fighting its way through the gingival tissue. That led the doctors to believe Fordyce granules’ condition could be at blame.
The mucosal tissues inside the mouth are related to the tissues that build our skin while we’re an embryo. It could be possible that some of those cells got lost and mixed with the ones that become the female’s gums. There are still no answers, only that a year later, the condition led to hairs growing from all around her mouth.
A little bit of a medical trivia
Fordyce granules are benign oil-producing glands that commonly grow our outer skin. A 2014 study correlated colorectal cancer with Fordyce spots in their mouth. Another research suggests that large numbers of Fordyce spots in your mouth might be associated with hyperlipidemia.
We don’t know if the presumption of Fordyce granules was followed, nor how the case evolved. But, take care. If there is hair you can’t floss, you should see a doctor!
Ethelene is the main editor on DualDove, she likes to write on the latest science news.