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Friday, October 17, 2008

Can Gum Disease Lead to Cancer?

Studies seem to indicate that gum disease may lead to an increased risk of lung, kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancer. Researchers in England studied the medical records of nearly fifty thousand men who were patients at Lancet Oncology in an effort to ascertain if there is a link between the immune system and both gum disease and cancer.

What they found seems to confirm what scientists have theorized for years, and that is that inflammatory processes within the body may lead to other more serious medical conditions including cancer.

In fact, researchers theorized that gum disease might even of a weak immune system, which in turn may make an individual more susceptible to periodontal disease and hematological cancers. Some researchers even suggested that long-term gum disease might trigger a response from the body’s immune system that allows cancer cells to form.

The study results revealed that the risk of kidney cancer and pancreatic cancer increased nearly fifty percent for individual’s who suffer from gum disease. Additionally, patients with gum disease were thirty percent more likely to suffer from blood cancers such as leukemia. The risk lung cancer increased about fourteen percent if a smoker also had gum disease, and even more astonishing was the fact that gum disease increased the risk of lung cancer among non-smokers as well
The alarming thing about these statistics is that gum disease is preventable with regular dental treatment. This, therefore, signifies the extreme importance of good dental hygiene.

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