For years now there has been evidence supporting a link between unhealthy gums and heart disease, diabetes, low term birth weights and other systemic diseases. A link to cancer is seldom mentioned in current research. A study in Lancet Oncology found that men with a history of gum disease were 14% more likely to develop cancer of any kind; the link was especially strong for lung and pancreatic cancers. Though the cause/effect relationship isn’t totally clear the study states that those with gum disease had higher inflammatory markers in their blood stream that are also associated with cancer (amongst other health issues). This association will be the subject of extensive future research.
Both Dr. Helgeson and I are consistently searching for simple ways our patients can improve the quality of their lives. As has been discussed in previous blogs, we focus first and foremost on oral hygiene. Committing to proper oral hygiene is a simple way to improve your oral health and save you money in future dental care. What has become quite clear over the last few years is how this can also improve your overall health and likely reduce your future medical expenses. Just another reason to “effectively” brush and floss your teeth daily.
Dr. Rober Casper DDS