Dental Problems Linked To Breast Cancer

New data concerning women’s health has linked periodontal disease to breast cancer. This came from a recent study in October 2010 at Huddinge, Sweden by the Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Periodontology, Karolinska Institute.

Over 3000 women between the ages of 30-40 years were part of a 16 year randomized study. “Of the subjects with periodontal disease and any missing molars in the mandible 5.5% had breast cancer in comparison to 0.5% of the subjects who had periodontal disease but no missing molars,” the study reported. Missing molars are a sign of long term periodontal issues.

One explanation is that the bacteria, in this disease, infects the entire blood supply of these advanced periodontal patients. This infection then sets off viral infections, referred to as “co-infections”. These other infections cause the body to use all its immune response to fight the co-infections, leaving a suppressed immune system to fight off the cancer – in other words, too weak to fight anymore.

This information will not be a surprise for those in the medical field who have long known that periodontal disease affects the whole body. Other studies have shown that the bacteria found in periodontal disease are also linked to heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, stroke, prostate disease, low birth weights in infants and indeed other cancers (pancreatic, kidney, lung and white blood cell).

It is important that everyone take care of their oral health and more so for those that are prone to any of the systemic diseases or have a family history of cancer. Diligent twice-daily cleanings should be a normal part of a person’s health care. The Dental Air Force offers an effective way to combine tooth brushing and flossing that removes 60% more bacteria in between teeth and around the gums than an electric tooth brush. Regular six month professional visits to the dentist are also important. And if the patient has periodontal disease, those visits should increase to every three months for periodontal treatment.

Six signs that can alert one to periodontal disease are:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums (they should not bleed when you brush your teeth)
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth

Unfortunately periodontal disease does not show symptoms until it is advanced and it is irreversible. However, you and your dentist can halt its progress. That is why it is so important to visit the dentist and take meticulous care in cleaning your teeth daily.