We all know we need to take good care of our oral health and pearly whites. Gum disease can be dangerous, and now studies suggest that there might be a connection between gum disease and some cancers. Results indicated that those who suffered from gum disease were 14 percent more likely to have lung, breast, bladder, esophageal, or melanoma cancer.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is inflammation of the gum line, where your gums meet your teeth. Gum disease can injure the surrounding bones that support your teeth.
There are three states of gum disease.
- Gingivitis—damage can be reversed at this early stage by regular brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis—at this point the disease cannot be reversed, and the bone and fibers that hold your teeth into place will suffer.
- Advanced Periodontitis—the final stage of the disease, the fibers, and bone that hold onto teeth are destroyed, which can cause tooth loss.
Gum disease can actually be painless, so it’s important to inspect your mouth frequently. Say cheese! And look for:
- Red, tender, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Receding gums or gums that have detached from the tooth
- Always having a bad taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus around the teeth and gums
Gum disease is a serious condition and requires immediate treatment. Don’t wait until it’s too late. We can help you come up with a plan to prevent or reverse gum disease before it becomes irreversible.
What is the Link Between Gum Disease and Cancer?
Although researchers aren’t certainyet, their hypothesis suggests that oral pathogens could potentially be carriedinto the bloodstream through saliva and dental plaque. If there is already diseased gumtissue, the pathogens can be carriedthat way into the bloodstream. The pathogens would then reach other sites in the body, potentially contributing to the cancer.
Thissuggestion may explain the strong association with poor oral health and esophageal cancer since the esophagus is so close to the oral cavity. Periodontal pathogens then have easier access to the esophaguswhich could infect it and promote cancer there.
Scientists don’t know the relationship between cancer and gum disease yet, but they’re working on it. As of now, they don’t know if theretrulyis any connection. What they do know, though, is that gum disease could be an indication of poor general health and not the specific cause of any type of cancer.
Oral health is essential regardless of any cancer connection. Now is the time to commit to the best oral health practices. We can help you plan and continue a healthy routine that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing daily. Call us now at 317-745-4400 to protect your smile and keep your mouth pain free.