How Gum Disease Can Put Older Women at Risk for Cancer
Thanks to new emerging information, we keep learning more facts about how oral health is connected to overall health and well being. Researchers have recently discovered a new link between periodontal disease and cancer in older women. Here's what you should know.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection of the support system for your teeth, which consists of your gums and jawbone. Excess plaque and tartar buildup that is not consistently removed will cause the infection, which will eventually lead to gum and tooth loss if it is left untreated.
Did you know that gum disease affects 70% of people aged 65 and above in America? It is also the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
What Is the Link With Cancer?
A recent study that followed women age 54 and up for 8 years detected a 14% higher rate of developing different forms of cancer in women living with gum disease than those without it. Some of the cancers detected were:
- Esophageal cancer
- Melanoma or skin cancer
- Lung cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Breast cancer
While researchers are still unsure of exactly how gum disease contributes to causing these cancers, it does seem that patients with periodontal issues are at an increased risk of developing cancer.
How Can We Help You?
Your first line of defense against issues like gum disease are consistent routine visits with your dentist in Denver. We'll screen you for conditions like gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth decay at every examination in order to detect them in their earliest stages. This will allow you to treat these issues with less invasive treatment procedures.
We'll also clean your teeth to remove the excess plaque buildup that causes these concerns. Learning proper brushing and flossing techniques from our hygienists will help you make the most of your oral care routine at home.
Give us a call today to schedule your next preventive appointment!