1st Female Case Of Excessive Hair Growth In Gums

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Hairy gums, I am guessing that isn’t something that you would have thought possible. The term is called “oral hirsutism” and although this can actually happen, it usually just affects males. This was until a 25-year-old woman reported with numerous eyelash-like hairs growing out of her maxillary and mandibular gums.


How it began

When the woman was 19, she initially visited doctors at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Italy, complaining that she had tiny hairs growing out of her gums directly behind her front upper teeth. An extra-oral examination revealed a large amount of hair on the chin and neck. An intra-oral examination showed some brown hair, similar to eyelashes, growing in between some of her teeth. These were removed and sent to a lab to study. One year later, the patient came back with even more hair present and more widespread on the gums of both arches.

Doctors diagnosed the patient with polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that results in abnormally high levels of male hormones. Women with this condition often experience unwanted hair growth, usually on the chin and chest. The patient was prescribed birth control pills to regulate her hormone levels and after four months of continuing with the oral contraceptives, the oral growth was gone, according to the authors.

The woman returned to doctors almost 6 years later, when the hair had returned after she had stopped the birth control pills. These hairs were removed during that visit:

Hair in the Gums

A, B, Hairs by facial surfaces of teeth #4 and #5. C, Removed hairs. D, Hairs in the zone of the palatal surface of teeth #12 and #13. E, Palatal surface of #14. F, Hairs in the zone of the facial surface of teeth #26.


Previous cases of Oral Hirsutism

The occurrence of oral hirsutism is an exceedingly rare event, with an unknown origin. An article published in the February 2020 edition of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, said there have been only five known cases in the past and most of them had a single hair localized in various sites of the oral cavity. The first documented case of oral hirsutism dated back to the 1960s to a 57-year-old man from the UK. Then there was a 13-year-old Polish boy who had been suffering from alopecia, reported to the Pedodontic Department of the Institute of Stomatology, Medical Academy in Lublin in 1986, with the growth of hair in his mouth. Another case mentioned is a 45-year-old white man who was examined at the Gainesville Veteran’s Administration Hospital Dental Clinic during a regular dental check-up in 2005. A single brown hair was found growing out of his gum, which the patient claimed existed since he was a teenager. Then there was an 11-year-old boy from Iran examined by doctors from the Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2007 with a case very similar to the Polish boy. The most recent case, before the woman mentioned earlier, was a 30-year-old French man who was discovered to have and eyelash hair growing in the middle of his tongue in 2016.