Monday, August 1, 2016

Lung Cancer and Gum Disease

A new report released in June finds an increased risk of lung cancer in people with gum disease. The report, which analyzed previous studies, found that even after adjusting other lung cancer risk factors like smoking, drinking alcohol, and diabetes, there was still this increased risk.The risk was higher still in women with periodontal disease than in men. 
Health mouth, healthy body (Artwork: YM)

So what is periodontal disease? There are two types: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is early gum disease and is reversible. These are puffy, bleeding gums that can be healed with regular flossing and brushing. The second type of gum disease, periodontitis, means that the disease had gone into other structures of the gums, like the ligaments that help hold the teeth to the bone. In advanced periodontitis, teeth may be loose due to bone loss and the gums may be receding. This type of gum disease can not be reversed but can be managed. Daily brushing and flossing combined with regular dental visits and gum therapy can stop the condition from worsening. There is no pain with most gum disease and some people with gum disease may feel like their teeth have "shifted." Often, they have not been going for their regular check-ups and cleanings every six months. 

Up to one-half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Periodontal disease is 2.5 times more common than diabetes, yet people tend to neglect their teeth without really thinking about how it can affect the rest of the body. 

Given that lung cancer death is the number one cancer death in the U.S., this newly discovered risk is yet another reason to take good care of your teeth. Just think about it: two minutes of brushing two times a day may decrease your risk of dying from lung cancer. Isn't that worth it?

For more on this report visit: https://www.perio.org/consumer/gum-disease-lung-cancer-risk

This blog is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition. If you are worried about your health, go visit your doctor or dentist. Please take care of yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Brushing 2 times a day for 2 minutes may decrease your risk of lung cancer and other diseases - isn't it worth it? I invite your comments.

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