A recent study shows a link between gum disease and cancer in some postmenopausal women. According to the study, there’s a 14% higher risk of older women with periodontal disease developing several different types of cancer. The study said older women with gum disease were three times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than women that did not have gum disease. The study showed postmenopausal women with gum disease were also at a higher risk for breast, gallbladder, melanoma and lung cancer.

Gum Disease And Cancer

Researchers said proper oral hygiene and preventing and treating periodontal disease were important for cancer prevention. Previous research showed a link between women with gum disease who smoked and an increased risk of lung, breast and gallbladder cancer. Studies have also shown non-smoking women with gum disease tend to be more susceptible to melanoma and several other types of cancer.

Poor Oral Hygiene A Cause

Researchers were not sure why gum disease seems to put people at greater risk for cancer. Some speculate that bacteria in the oral cavity may lead to local and systemic inflammation through inhalation, ingestion and bacteria going through oral tissue into the bloodstream. Further research on the link between poor oral hygiene and cancer may hold the answer and show a more direct cause-and-effect relationship, experts involved in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study say. The study followed 66,000 women with gum disease between 1999 and 2013. Almost 7,200 developed cancer.

Address Periodontal Disease

Dental experts say eliminating periodontal disease can help to reduce people’s risk for developing cancer. They recommend seeing a dentist immediately if bleeding gums, loose teeth and other signs of gum disease become evident. Health care professionals encourage people to pay attention to their oral health to prevent Gingivitis, Periodontitis and other forms of gum disease and lower their risk of developing pancreatic cancer and other forms of this deadly disease. They point to a 2007 Harvard study that detected a link between poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer.

Men Also At Increased Risk

The Harvard study started in 1986 and looked at more than 50,000 men. They found 216 of the men developed pancreatic cancer. About 67 of them had periodontal disease. The findings revealed that there is a 63% greater chance of men with gun disease developing pancreatic cancer than men without gum disease. They postulated that men with gum disease has increased level of oral bacteria and carcinogens in their mouths. A 2016 study which looked at 200,000 Taiwanese people also found an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in people with gun disease.

See Your Dentist Regularly

Research clearly shows a definite link between the environment gum disease creates in the mouth and the development of pancreatic cancer. Other researchers have found a link between poor oral hygiene, gum disease and an increased risk for head and neck cancers. They say between 50% and 90% of adults have signs of gingivitis and other types of gum disease. They recommend regularly brushing and flossing the teeth, regular dental exams and periodically having the teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist to remove plaque and improve dental health.

If you’re looking for a dentist in San Marcos, be sure to contact the office of Larry D. Molenda, D.D.S. today to set up an appointment!