Gum disease has been associated with conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction, just to name a few. But now researchers are wondering about how chronic gum disease could affect a person’s cancer risk.
What the Study Found
Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo took a look at medical data collected over the course of eight years. The subjects of the data were postmenopausal women, most of them white.
The research findings showed an interesting pattern: women with periodontal disease (gum disease) were 14% more likely to develop cancer than those without gum disease. Whether the women smoked or not didn’t make a difference.
Site-specific cancers noted in these women’s health histories included lung, breast, skin, and gallbladder cancer. But the highest risk was for esophageal cancer.
What This Could Mean
Since gum disease has established links to other health problems, there may be some connection to cancer risk. Scientists have to study further what those connections may be and who are really at risk.
What This Doesn’t Mean
Not all older women with dental problems will develop cancer. This study was limited in scope. All though the finding was significant, it proved no direct connection between gum disease and cancer.
Keep Your Gums Healthy!
Good oral hygiene doesn’t just prevent tooth – loss; it could lower your cancer risk. A healthy diet rich in vitamins is also key to gum health. Lower your chancer further by reducing stress and avoiding tobacco use.
No matter age or gender, gum health is important to all. Regular gum health evaluations are an important part of oral hygiene. Schedule a checkup with a dentist near you.
Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
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