Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Gum Disease and Cancer in Women

If you could reduce your risk of getting cancer by brushing and flossing, would you do it? 

There are two types of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease. Both of these mean that the gums are infected with germs and there is inflammation in the mouth.

Gingivitis is the “reversible” type of gum disease. It is characterized by bleeding, puffy gums and it’s the type commonly discussed on toothpaste commercials. Gingivitis can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing in addition to eating a healthy diet.

Periodontal Disease is an advanced form of gum disease and is what happens over time if you ignore gingivitis. In people with Periodontal Disease, germs in the mouth have increased in amount and changed in type. In an effort to get rid of the germs, the body’s immune system responds by destroying the tiny connective tissues that keep the teeth attached to the gums and by destroying bone levels in the jaw. Periodontal disease is “irreversible” yet it can be controlled with proper treatment. 

People are often unclear about whether they have gum disease yet over 50% of adults have some form of it.

If you have Periodontal Disease, your dentist or dental hygienist may have discussed with you the “pockets” in your gums and recommended “deep” cleanings. You may have been told that you have “receding” gums or you may feel like your teeth have “shifted.”  These simple terms are used to help people understand their gum health, however, Periodontal Disease is a complex and serious condition. It is important to manage periodontal disease before further destruction to the mouth, like tooth loss, occurs.

Avoiding Periodontal Disease may also help to guard against common cancers in women. 

A recent long-term study that followed over 65,000 women revealed that there is an association between certain cancers and Periodontal Disease. The association to esophageal cancer was strongest but it was also evident in cancers of the lung, gallbladder, breast, and skin. Overall, women with Periodontal Disease were 14% more likely to get cancer than women without Periodon
Gum disease, cancer & women yml
tal Disease; 20% more likely for women who are current or former smokers.

Sources: Reuters.com & Medscape; original source article:  bit.ly/2w2vmvi Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, published online August 1, 2017

This blog is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or illness. Please consult your medical or dental professional for treatment.

1 comment:

  1. The mouth is connected to the rest of the body! What do you think of the association between disease of the body and the health of the mouth?


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