The Role of Oral Health in Developing and Reversing Cancer

It has always been known that proper dental care affects overall health. That said, there is also some reason to believe that it can also influence the risk of cancer. This suggestion may seem like a stretch, but researchers at Helsinki University Hospital in Finland and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden are suggesting there is a link. When a patient suffers from periodontitis, a disease of the gum tissue, it may increase their chance of contracting cancer.

The Link Between Oral Health and Cancer

This clinical study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, indicates that the bacteria causing periodontitis, treponema denticola (Td), may play a role in the development of oral cancer and other cancers. It also shows a link between cancer mortality within the population. It has been proven that Td may have an impact on the onset of cancer, a process that exists on the molecular level. The bacteria occur in malignant tumors in the gastrointestinal tract, common in pancreatic cancer.

The primary enzyme found in the Td bacteria is also found to activate other proteins that help cancer cells invade healthy tissue. It will also diminish the effectiveness of the immune system by inactivating enzyme inhibitor molecules.

Invading Other Body Parts

Another study published in the International Journal of Cancer has proven that periodontitis is linked with cancer mortality. These studies demonstrate that gum disease factors can spread from the mouth to other parts of the body to destroy tissue as related to cancer. The researchers have concluded that a low-grade inflammation from periodontitis helps facilitate oral bacteria that has severely harmful factors to other body parts.

On the other hand, prevention through proper oral hygiene and early diagnosis are critical not only for oral health but for the patient’s overall wellbeing. In other words, maintaining consistent dental health care can help patients avoid life-threatening diseases.

Learn More

To learn how you can improve not only oral health through proper dental care, but have an impact on your overall health by decreasing the risk of cancer and gum disease, contact Hill County Oral Surgery today for a consultation.