Gum Disease Increases Cancer Risk in Older Women

A recent study posted in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal shows a correlation between gum disease and cancer. The study showed that postmenopausal women with a history of gum disease are at an increased overall risk of developing cancer as well as developing site-specific cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and melanoma/skin cancer.

The study was done by researchers at the University of New York and looked at almost 66,000 postmenopausal women in the US. The researchers found that a history of periodontal disease in these women increased the risk of developing cancer by 14%. This increased risk considered which of the women were smokers and which women had never smoked in their lives which means that periodontal disease increased the risk by 14% in both smokers and non-smokers.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and is a later stage of gingivitis. Symptoms of periodontal disease include receding gums and the formation of pockets between the gums and the teeth. Once the infection gets beneath your gum line, periodontitis can cause tooth loss and can destroy tissues, ligaments, and bone in the mouth.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that 47% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease ranging from mild to severe. The CDC also claims that 70% of adults over the age of 65 have moderate to severe periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a preventable disease. Good oral health and regular visits to the AZ Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for cleaning and checkups go a long way to preventing periodontal disease and according to the study, may help reduce the risk of cancer.

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