Researchers Link Pancreatic Cancer with Poor Oral Health
Posted on 2/20/2016 by Office
By now you should know that failing to properly care for your teeth can have far-reaching consequences, including impacts on your overall health.
Unfortunately, new research has found another area of worry when it comes to failing to properly care for your oral health - pancreatic cancer. A study was recently completed by the Harvard School of Public Health and found that adult men with gum disease could be at a heightened risk of developing this devastating disease.
During the study, researchers analyzed information from more than 50,000 male participants over the course of a 16-year period in order to see if there was a connection between tooth loss or gum disease and pancreatic cancer. The review determined that when men were known to have gum disease, they had an increased risk of 64% when it came to developing pancreatic cancer.
This was in comparison to adult men without a gum disease history. It is difficult to say why this connection might exist. While the study found an association between pancreatic cancer and gum disease, it did not establish a cause and effect relationship.
However, researchers believe that the chronic infection that occurs with gum disease could trigger inflammation in other parts of the body, and this could stimulate cancer growth.
While this news is troubling, the major takeaway is that to reduce your risk of serious health complications, you need to make your oral health a priority. In addition to the standard brushing and flossing that you should know about, you should be choosing tooth-friendly foods and avoiding excessive consumption of sweets.
Most importantly, you should call our office at least twice per year for cleaning. These appointments can also be beneficial for your overall health, as your dentist may be able to detect certain illnesses and diseases just by evaluating your mouth.