Can presence of oral Fordyce's granules serve as a marker for hyperlipidemia?

Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2014 Sep;11(5):553-8.


Background: Hyperlipidemia is a well-documented risk factor for coronary heart disease and a great wealth of clinical trials have shown that early detection of hyperlipidemia and prescribing drugs that lower elevated lipid levels reduce serious cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction, heart failure and stroke. Fordyce granules (FGs) are sebaceous glands without hair follicles, most often located under the epithelium of the cheek and the vermilion border of lip. The incidence of FGs is typically high and their presence is usually regarded as a normal variation of the oral mucosa. The aim of this study was to investigate the pattern of anatomical distribution and density of FGs and also to explore any potential relationship between the detection of FGs and the state of hyperlipidemia.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional, prospective study was designed. The participants were divided into two groups; first group consisted of individuals with FGs and the second group included those with no FGs detected. All participants were fasting 9-12 h before they were subjected to a comprehensive oral examination and their blood was sampled and tested for complete lipid profile. The presence of FGs was scored based on the number of the granules and their anatomical distribution. Chi-square test was used and P < 0.05 was considered as significant.

Results: A total of 350 patients were recruited for this study, nearly 90% (n = 314) elicit detectable FGs. The FGs were mainly located on the buccal mucosa with or without labial involvement and their density tend to reduce with age and also with smoking. Individuals with elevated lipid profile tend to have the highest score of the FGs.

Conclusion: According to this report, the presence of high numbers of FGs in people with high risk factors for cardiovascular disease should not be neglected.

Keywords: Blood lipid profile; Fordyce's granules; Fordyce's spots; cardiovascular disease; ectopic; hyperlipidemia; sebaceous glands; smoking.