Over the past few years, several researchers have studied the effects of periodontal disease on the body, specifically the potential increase in the risk of certain types of cancers in women. The study showed that if a woman maintained good oral health, their risk was almost 14 % when it came to being diagnosed with various types of cancer.
The Nature of Bacteria
When bacteria are present, it begins to breakdown the connective tissues forming small areas of infection around the teeth and gums. As the bacteria multiply, they’re drawn into the lungs or swallowed. They can also travel deep into the tissues and travel through the body via the blood stream. As the bacteria travels, it can settle in other areas. The resulting inflammation may lead to other health issues, including cancer.
The Effects of Periodontal Disease
The mouth offers the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria. If the bacteria are allowed to accumulate, gum infections or periodontal disease can weaken the tissues. Postmenopausal women who don’t brush their teeth daily or floss frequently leave themselves open to an increase in both oral and systemic infections, and possibly cancer. Periodontal disease can have an impact on many chronic health conditions and is a known factor when it comes to the premature loss of teeth.
Linking Periodontal Disease and Cancer in Women
Researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York claim the following increases in the risk of cancer for women who have poor oral health.
- 73% increase in the risk for gallbladder cancer
- Over 30% higher risk when it comes to lung tumors
- 23% more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma
- 13% increase in the risk for breast cancer
These aren’t the only potential risks that were uncovered. The study also linked to esophageal cancer as well.