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Studies Show Gum Disease Increases Cancer Risk

If you weren’t already taking your oral health seriously, there is a new reason to do so. Gum disease has been linked to several types of cancers and can increase your cancer risk by 14%. Two separate studies were held and found that both men and women can decrease their risk for developing cancer by taking good care of their gums.

The women’s study found that bacteria from gum disease can spread into the blood and trigger tumor growth. That can lead to several forms of cancer including breast, lung, skin, gallbladder, and throat. Esophageal (throat) cancer was found to be most closely related to gum disease.

The study showed the importance of keeping your mouth healthy, especially for older women. Gum disease is quite common among seniors, with 70% of people 65 and up being affected by it according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The men’s study also found that those who had a history of periodontal disease had a 14% overall higher risk for cancer. That included a 54% increased risk of pancreatic cancer, 49% higher risk of kidney cancer, and 36% and 30% higher rates for lung cancer and white blood cell cancers respectively. Smoking was also a contributing factor, and those men who did not smoke had lower rates of cancer and periodontal disease.

There are several things you can do to help ensure your gums stay healthy including:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks
  • Quitting smoking
  • Visiting your dentist regularly

Schedule an appointment with Orthodontic Associates to find out if you are at risk for gum disease and come up with a plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Give us a call at 810-985-9567 today.

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