Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer
Periodontal disease (aka gum disease) is unfortunately a common disease but one that can be treated successfully. If not treated it can lead to bone loss which may result in the loss of teeth. But now a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, has linked periodontal disease to breast cancer specifically in postmenopausal women.
Since smoking is known to impact periodontal disease, it was also taken into account. The bacteria in the mouths of smokers is different from those who do not or have never smoked. The possible explanation is that this bacteria enters the body’s circulation and thus ultimately affects the breast tissue.
The results of this study showed that the risk of breast cancer was 14% higher with those with periodontal disease. Among those who had smoked or currently smoked the risk was even greater.
What does this mean to you? Regular cleaning appointments with your Dental Hygienist are not just important for your teeth. They contribute to your overall physical well-being. They may, in fact, save your life. And, smoking without question puts you at greater risk for many diseases.