Did you know that 97% of all cancers have a causal relationship to your mouth, teeth, jaw and tonsils?
This makes your oral care all the more important. Periodontal disease is a serious infection in the mouth which is caused by bacteria in dental plaque. Untreated cases of periodontal disease can lead to permanent damage to the gums and bone.
A recent study discovered that the United States has the highest frequency of periodontal disease. This is bad as having periodontal disease can lead to a 14% higher risk of developing any type of cancer, according to a research.
Periodontitis by Number in the United States
America has a mean and median state frequency of 44.9% and 45.1% respectively for counties. These summary measures compare with the estimated national prevalence of periodontitis in American adults which is 44.8%. It has been discovered that the highest concentration of periodontitis correlates directly with regions that have high incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, systematic conditions often associated with periodontitis.
How Periodontal Disease Can Lead to Cancer
A study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute discovered that individuals who suffered from severe gum disease had a 24% higher chance of developing cancer as compared to those who did not have gum disease. Periodontitis is mostly characterized by the inflammation of the tissue which surrounds the base of your teeth or the gums. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.2% of adults who are over 30 years of age in America suffer from some form of periodontitis. This only increases with age so that 70.1% of American adults who are over 65 years old have this disease.
It was noticed that gastrointestinal cancers, such as pancreatic cancer share an enzyme which was found in cancerous tumors usually found in the mouth and acts as the main “boosting” agent in the development of gum disease.
5 Different Types of Cancers Caused by Untreated Periodontitis
1. Oral Cancer
Several studies have depicted that you are exposed to an increased risk of oral cancer with tooth loss or periodontitis. When bacteria become trapped in plaque between the teeth, they produce pathogens that cause inflammations and infections of your gums. These pathogenic bacteria produce toxins which can get into your bloodstream.
If the periodontal disease remains untreated, your body adjusts to this heightened inflammatory state, which makes your immune system less responsive. Over time, your immune system can suffer irreversible damage which is believed to be a key factor in the link between periodontitis and oral cancers. Proper oral hygiene is compulsory and can literally save your life!
2. Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer is the fourth leading cause of death due to cancer in America. This is a very difficult cancer to treat and very little is known about how to treat it or what causes it. One established risk factor is cigarette smoking; other links have been made to obesity, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Institute revealed that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas. They found a significant link between the two – in fact, they found a higher association among the nonsmokers than the smokers.
3. Lung Cancer
Research indicates that women who suffer from periodontal disease are much more likely to develop lung cancer as compared to males. Oral bacteria can be involved in the growth and development of cancer cells in the lungs while another indicates successful treatment of periodontal disease can reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Periodontal disease affects one of every two Americans age 30 or older and is roughly 2.5 times more prevalent than diabetes. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. Around 158 thousand Americans die of lung cancer annually.
4. Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is the sixth highest cause of cancer death in the world. It is the eighth most common kind of cancer and because it is usually diagnosed at a late stage, the five-year survival rates are at or below 25%. Many studies have discovered a link between missing teeth and esophageal cancer. A few studies discovered that the chances of getting esophageal cancer doubled when people were missing 6 to 15 teeth.
6. Other Cancers
The connection between periodontal disease and gastric cancers and upper GI has been analyzed in a number of studies. A case-control study in Japan showed that people who had lost 10 teeth or more were exposed to two-fold increased odds of gastric cancer. There is a noteworthy relationship that has been observed between the number of teeth lost and the chances of developing gastric cancer.
Gum disease has been associated with breast cancer, melanoma, gallbladder and lung cancer. Gallbladder cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer have been linked higher amongst women who smoked and had gum disease.
Scared and shaken? Yes, statistics are scary. If you have periodontal disease, you need to ask yourself “Who is the best periodontist near me?” If you are in the Fresno area, then you need not look any further than Dr. Michael G. Long!