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Cancer and Gum Disease

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Oct 29 2020, 12:40 AM

Cancer and Gum Disease

Taking care of your teeth just got a whole lot more serious, thanks to a new report by Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. According to the report, you are at an increased risk of certain cancers if you don’t take care of your oral health. Here’s what you need to know.

Gum Disease & Cancer

Gum disease and cancer may not seem like an obvious connection, but according to the report by the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the bacteria which causes gum disease can also cause stomach and esophageal cancers.

The study examined data for 150,000 men and women, spanning 22-28 years. What it found was that those who had gum disease in their lifetime were at a 43% higher risk of esophageal cancer and a 52% higher risk of stomach cancer, respectively.

The Connection

So, what’s the connection? Though researchers aren’t certain, they hypothesize that it may have to do with the bacteria found in the gums of those with gum disease. When swallowed, those harmful bacteria travel down the esophagus into the stomach, causing trouble, including possible cancer.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to safeguard both your oral and overall health is to prevent gum disease. This can be easily accomplished by attending regular oral health checkups and taking good care of your teeth and gums regularly. This means brushing at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time and flossing at least once a day. Flossing is an important step that keeps bacteria and plaque away from your gums and helps prevent gum disease.

What Can You Do?

While there is no guarantee having gum disease will cause cancer, nor is there any guarantee that not having gum disease will prevent cancer, it’s a good idea to take care of any untreated gum disease to avoid the possibility of cancer, tooth loss, and more. If you believe you have gum disease, please speak to Dr. Abelar’s office about receiving treatment and get your mouth on the road to recovery.


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