Gum disease (periodontitis) increases the risk of various cancers. This has long been suspected, but three new studies show strong evidence of a relationship between periodontitis and multiple cancers, such as pancreatic, lung and colon cancer.
A dental inflammation is caused by bacteria in the cavities between the gums and the teeth. It was already known that inflammation of the inflammation could also cause inflammation elsewhere in the body and, for example, increases the chance of various heart conditions, such as a heart attack. Recently, several studies also appeared that indicated a possible link with cancer.
Does periodontitis cause cancer ? This is now confirmed by three new studies.
An American study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute surveyed nearly 7,500 people who were followed up for about 20 years. During that period, their teeth were also regularly examined. 1648 participants received cancer, and 547 of them died during the study.
In people with severe periodontitis, the risk of cancer increased by 24 percent compared with people with little or no periodontitis. Especially the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer, and to a limited extent pancreatic cancer increased. No association was found with breast, prostate, blood and lymph cancer.
The researchers took into account the smoking behavior of the patients in the analysis of their data since smoking increases the risk of periodontitis and lung and colon cancer. A strongly increased risk of cancer was also found in non-smokers.
A Finnish study published in the International Journal of Cancer, in which 70,000 Finns were followed for ten years, found a very strong relationship between periodontitis and cancer, especially pancreatic cancer. The risk of death from cancer was 27 percent higher in people with periodontitis than in people without periodontitis. The chance of death from pancreatic cancer was even 69 percent higher.
Another Finnish study in the British Journal of Cancer discovered that the bacteria that cause periodontitis elsewhere in the body could cause inflammation and at the molecular level can play a role in the development of certain cancers such as pancreatic cancer.
The authors of all these studies conclude that early detection and treatment of periodontitis is an important preventive measure to prevent cancer.
Home Remedies for Gingivitis & Periodontist | Gum Diseases
- Journal of the National Cancer Institute
- International Journal of Cancer
- British Journal of Cancer