According to an article from Newswise, another recent study is providing further support to the connection between severe gum disease and the development of certain types of cancer. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease that inflicts damage to the bones and soft tissue that are critical to supporting the teeth.
There has been previous research that has suggested that people with periodontitis are more likely to get cancer. The study sampled data from almost 7,500 patients. Following patient history starting in the late 1990s, people with severe cases of periodontitis were 24 percent more likely to get cancer in comparison to patients with healthy gums or only mild cases. In the most extreme cases, where oral health was so poor that patients has lost all of their teeth, the risk was 28 percent.
Further analysis illustrated that lung cancer was most closely connected to periodontitis, with cancer risk more than doubling. Colorectal cancer was in second place; patients with no teeth had an 80 percent risk increase, which is consistent with data from previous studies. The effect of smoking was taken into account in the study as well. After all smoking increases cancer risk and also has a negative effect on oral health, increasing the risk of periodontitis. The increase in risk was still present in patients that did not smoke.
The study also found a minor link between pancreatic cancer and severe periodontitis as well. While the boost in risk was not considered significant statistically, this is still backed by data from other studies also. In addition, another study from Finland found that the microbes that can cause periodontitis also plays a role in the development of pancreatic cancer. To read more about pancreatic cancer, click here.
Overall, the study is just another example of the mounting evidence that has highlighted the connection between severe periodontitis and some cancer forms in the past. The researches concluded by calling for further study to be done in order to more thoroughly understand the connection between cancer and gum disease. In addition, doctors are also considering the possibility that proper treatment of periodontitis could wind up playing a major preventative role in reducing the number of cancer cases and reducing the frequency of deaths.