As research continues, the depth of connection between the individual systems of our bodies grows. Conditions that were previously understood to be isolated or unrelated are discovered to be linked in surprising ways we hadn’t considered. Everything in our body seems to be connected, with conditions like periodontal disease being found to affect unexpected parts of our body. Until recently, there was no suspected link between oral cancer and periodontal disease, but studies have shown that the connection appears to be more than circumstantial.
How Our Oral Health Can Lead To Oral Cancer
Gingivitis is a nearly universal experience, with everyone being affected by it one or more times during their life. In most cases, the condition will be resolved before it advances to a more serious case. In the event that it does manage to get worse, it will develop into periodontal disease. Tooth decay is a common part of this oral health condition, as is bone loss in the jaw and gum recession. In addition to these well-known risks, research has revealed that there is a high incidence of oral cancer in those who have advanced periodontitis. Improving your health and eliminating the condition is the only way to reduce your risks.
The first appearance of gingivitis is typically gums that are pink and inflamed, often tender, and prone to bleeding. This is a result of inflammation, and it can lead to discomfort when trying to brush or floss. If these aren’t done, however, gingivitis can begin to advance and turn into periodontal disease, in addition to promoting the advance of tooth decay. Without professional care, it will advance and begin causing the aforementioned bone loss and gum recession.
Oral cancer is just one of the potentially life-threatening risks those with periodontal disease are more prone to. The Journal Of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has carried studies that have shown higher rates of breast cancer in women, especially older women. Lung cancer and esophageal disease are also more common in those with periodontal disease, along with melanoma. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute carried a study that revealed a 28% increase in risks of oral cancer for those who struggle with periodontal disease. Cancer is just one of the many health risks that have been revealed to be connected with this condition.
- Hormonal Problems
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Diseases
These conditions are even more prominent in those living with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease and cancer are linked in ways that aren’t fully understood at the moment, but more studies continue to be done. There is, as yet, no evidence suggesting that those who have periodontal disease need to get screened for cancer more often than those who do not. If you want to reduce your risk of cancer as much as possible, you should also consider quitting any tobacco habit you have, reduce your alcohol intake, and make regular visits to your dentist.
Consistent Dental Hygiene Is Key To Eliminating Periodontal Disease
Every part of your dental hygiene practice, from brushing to mouthwash, and of course, flossing, plays a key role in holding off periodontal disease. Elimination of harmful bacteria that have settled into your gums and lead to inflammation is essential to controlling gum disease, the first step to periodontitis. If you are suspecting that you may be experiencing symptoms associated with periodontitis, reach out to your dental health care provider today.