January 17, 2018

Gum Disease increases Cancer Risk

Severe gum disease could lead to pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest and most vicious forms of cancer, two major new studies conclude.

Severe gum disease could lead to one of the deadliest types of cancer, two major studies have concluded. The bacteria responsible for periodontitis, which can be killed through brushing teeth, play a role in pancreatic cancer. Scientists claim it is the first evidence that the bacteria can spread from the mouth to other parts of the body and cause tumors.

Helsinki University researchers used data from 70,000 adults to make their findings - considered to be the first of their kind. They found a clear link between periodontitis and cancer mortality, with the biggest association recorded for the pancreatic form. The findings, made by Finnish researchers, adds to the ever-growing list of cancers that are now linked to gum disease. It offers hope of a cheap way of screening for pancreatic cancer, which is known for being vicious and having low survival rates.  Severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, can affect the bones in people's jaws and cause teeth to fall out. Previous research reveals up to 54 per cent of adults in the UK have gum disease to some extent. Several other scientific trials have shown gum disease can increase the risk of lung, gallbladder and throat cancers, as well as melanoma.

A recent, small study in Brazil finds that Gum disease increases women's risk of breast cancer up to three times

This is thought to be due to the bacteria that causes inflammation in the mouth entering the circulation via the gums and going into breast tissue, which can result in cancer. Speaking of the study's findings, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: 'Interestingly, this research shows that there is evidence to support the theory that gum disease can have a much larger impact on the health of our whole body.'

Mayo Clinic on Prevention
The best way to prevent periodontitis is to follow a program of good oral hygiene, one that you begin early and practice consistently throughout life.

Good oral hygiene. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.
Regular dental visits. See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often.
Posted by Jill Fallon at January 17, 2018 12:12 PM | Permalink