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Cancer and Gum Disease

You already know your oral health is important. Poor oral health can lead to cavities, gum disease and worse. That’s why it’s not just important to have a mouth that looks good – you must take care of your oral hygiene, too. After all, what’s the point of investing in a smile makeover if you aren’t going to take care of your teeth.

Need more encouragement? Yet another study has been released about the importance of caring for your oral health, and this is one you’ll want to pay attention to.

The study comes from researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and was recently published in the July 2020 issue of the journal Gut. The study revealed that patients who reported having gum disease are also at an increased risk of developing esophageal and stomach cancers.

The research is based upon two studies of approximately 150,000 men and women. Among the participants, people who were shown in the study gum disease were found to have a 43% higher risk of esophageal cancer and a 52% higher risk of stomach cancer after a follow up period of between 22-28 years.

Of course the big question now is what is behind these increases. After all, these numbers are much too big to ignore. As of right now, researchers don’t know the answer to this, but they surmise it may be due to the bad bacteria from the gum disease traveling down the esophagus to the stomach. They also hypothesize that it could be from some of the bi-products of the bad bacteria. Either way, more research is needed to come to a solid conclusion.

In the meantime, we can still learn a lot from this study. Namely, that oral hygiene is important and gum disease is more dangerous than we realize. That’s why when beginning any dental treatment plan, including full mouth reconstruction, we want to make sure the mouth is healthy. Gum disease can cause tooth loss, and can make it difficult for dental implants to anchor correctly, so if you are planning on undergoing any kind of oral health treatments it’s important that we get any gum issues under control first. This will not only make your mouth healthier, it will make your dental work more successful, and may even add years to your life!

Tags: Gum disease, oral health, cancer, stomach, esophageal, Peterson,

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Posted in: Dental Health, General Dentistry

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