How gum disease could be linked to cancer

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Gum disease has already got a powerful and intimidating reputation in the world of oral health. It is usually a symptom of poor oral hygiene and lack of visiting the dentist. The disease is most often spotted through the painful inflammation of the gums and soft tissue surrounding the teeth. However, now there could be more reason to pay attention to your oral health, as new research from Finland has discovered a link between the development of particular cancers and gum disease.


Gum disease and cancer

A shocking 47.2 percent of individuals aged 30  have some form of periodontitis, according to the CDC. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease, which, due to its aggressive nature, attacks the jaw bone which  keeps the teeth in place. Over time and as the disease progresses, weakening can lead to defects such as facial sagging.

If that wasn’t enough, a recent study conducted in 2017 and published by Timo Sorsa in the British journal of cancer, has shown a link between the bacteria which causes periodontitis, Treponema denticola, and different forms of cancer developing.

In particular, researchers found that some gastrointestinal cancers and Treponoma denticola share the same enzyme, (known as Treponema denticola) a chymotrypsin-like proteinase. This enzyme is known to be the main element in encouraging gum disease and has been found in particular cancerous tumours too.


The link between periodontitis and pancreatic cancer

In an effort to further this study, data contributed from 68,273 adults over ten years was analysed for any positive indication of a link between the two. Their findings proved successful in finding a very strong link towards the association between a diagnosis of gum disease and cases of deaths due to pancreatic cancer.

It was concluded that the inflammation of the gums bought on through periodontitis, allows harmful bacteria to travel with much more ease around the body, then acting as a ‘booster’ for cancer cells to develop.


For this reason alone, practicing a consistent and thorough oral hygiene routine is extremely important. Good oral hygiene means that we can keep our teeth and mouth healthy, but It can also have a huge affect on our body, even if we can’t see it at first. Regular brushing, flossing and appointments with your dentist all work together to give your mouth the best care possible.

If you are looking for a friendly, professional and tailored service from your dentists in Malvern, be sure to get in contact with Malvern Dentists today, to see how we can help you!

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