In addition to your teeth, it is equally as important to promote the health of your gums. With an estimated 50% of adults in the United States having a form of gum disease, it is vital that you maintain your oral hygiene habits and regular dental care to protect your smile. However, new research shows that you have another reason to get gum disease therapy in Marietta at the first sign of the infection. According to the University at Buffalo, postmenopausal women who have previously had it have an increased risk for cancer.
Gum Disease Increases Cancer Risk
Researchers at the University at Buffalo recently conducted a study that involved more than 65,000 participants. It was the first national study involving older U.S. women to distinguish a connection between periodontal disease and gallbladder cancer.
The study involved postmenopausal women who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, with the average age being 68 years old. Of the participants that had a history of gum disease, 14% had an increased risk for cancer overall. Over 7,100 had a history of cancer with more than 2,400 involving breast cancer.
The cancer that produced the highest risk was esophageal cancer, which is believed to be because the esophagus is close to the oral cavity. As a result, the pathogens from the infection can infect the esophageal mucosa.
In addition, gallbladder cancer was also highly reported. With chronic inflammation influencing the cancer, it is believed the two can be linked to one another; however, it remains unknown how the infection can cause it to develop.
The results of the study are quite significant because it involved an older population who are more prone to developing gum disease. With people now living longer, the research offers new insight into the long-term adverse complications of the infection.
Protect Your Oral and Overall Health
Although gum disease is quite common, it is easily preventable with the right oral hygiene habits. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, it is best to floss in between each tooth and around the gum line every night. It is also advised that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Through a regular examination, gum disease can be detected and treated in its early stages to restore your oral health while also lowering your risk for cancer in the future.