The American Association for Cancer Research has released new research that suggested that chronic periodontiitis, which is a form of gum disease, may be a risk factor for cancer in the head and neck. The research linking gum disease and cancer suggests that good oral health is even more important than previously thought. Good oral hygiene is not just important for the health of the mouth and teeth, the health of the mouth also affects overall health, making good dental care very important.
Chronic periodontitis is an independent risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, according to findings of a study at the Maxillofacial Prosthetic s at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The study results were published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The cancer risk associated with periodontitis may be related to the chronic inflammation in the gums, although more study needs to be done to make a definite statement.
Periodontal disease ranges from a simple gum inflammation to a serious disease that causes major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.
Bacteria and mucus form a sticky plaque on teeth. Brushing a flossing can remove plaque, which is why regular brushing is an important health habit. Plaque and tartar that remain on the teeth cause an inflammation, called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can be reversed by dental care and oral hygiene. Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, or inflammation of the tooth. In periodontitis the gums pull away from teen and form pockets between the gum and the tooth. The pockets can harbor bacteria and infections can form. Left untreated this condition can let to deterioration of the bones, gums and tissues that support the teeth. Teeth may be lost as a result of periodontal disease.
Symptoms of periodontal disease includes persistent bad breath, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing and loose or sensitive teeth. These symptoms can be a signal of a serious condition that should be explored by a dentist.
Steps that you can take to prevent gum disease include bushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily, regular dental check-ups, eating a well balanced diet and not smoking.
Good oral health is about more then having clean white teeth and fresh breath. The bacteria buildup and inflammation that result from gum disease can cause an extremely serious condition. According to the new study results release by the American Association of Cancer Research, the gum disease may even by associated with cancer.
Good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and regular dental check ups; may protect oral health and overall health.
Information is this article is not intended as medical advise. If you have questions or concerns about a medical or dental condition, please consult a qualified physician.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
American Association of Cancer Research
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