Over the past several decades, scientists have begun to recognize that our dental health is closely linked to specific medical problems that affect other parts of our body. Past research has associated poor oral hygiene with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more. Now, a new study indicates that it could also have something to do with a very serious form of cancer.
What’s the Link?
Research conducted at Brown University recently uncovered a potential link between pancreatic cancer and gum disease. To reach their findings, researchers analyzed the oral health of about 400 people who had this deadly cancer and another 400 or so who did not. Ultimately, they found that cancer patients were much more likely to have signs of a specific type of bacterium inside their mouths: P. gingivalis, which is known to contribute to gum disease.
Because it’s so difficult to detect, pancreatic cancer is especially deadly. Thanks in part to this recent study, researchers hope health professionals might have an easier time diagnosing patients earlier by assessing risk based on an oral analysis.
Oral Hygiene Matters
The American Dental Association recently provided a report stating that nearly one-third of all Americans have some type of gum disease. This statistic is a clear sign that many people fail to give their teeth the attention they deserve.
As the evidence mounts, it’s becoming abundantly clear that our dental health plays a big part in determining whether or not we will remain healthy as we age. To encourage better overall health, it’s vital that you visit the dentist on a regular basis to get cleanings and important check-ups that can catch problems before they become to sever.
Don’t jeopardize your health by ignoring your teeth. Gum disease can affect anyone, regardless of their age or personal habits. Contact Dr. Dunayer's office to schedule a check-up and cleaning today.