Posts tagged: cancer

Research Links Dental Plaque To Premature Death By Cancer

If you let dental plaque and calculus buildup on your teeth, then you may not only be increasing your risk of developing periodontal disease, but also your risk of developing cancer. A new study published in the online British Medical Journal, Open, has linked dental plaque with a risk of premature death due to cancer. The longitudinal study looked at the connection between dental plaque and cancer mortality in Sweden.

The study followed 1,400 randomly selected adults from Stockholm over a period of 24 years, from 1985 to 2009. At the beginning of the monitoring period the adults were in their 30s and 40s, and were interviewed to assess their risk of developing cancer. Factors taken into account included whether or not they were smokers, and levels of affluence. In addition, their oral hygiene was assessed to discover current levels of gum disease and tooth loss, as well as levels of dental plaque and calculus.

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World Health Organization Report Emphasizes Need for Drastic Oral Health Improvement

A report by the World Health Organisation on a global overview of oral health found that in spite of improvements, problems still persisted both in developed and developing countries, and were particularly prevalent amongst underprivileged groups.

Although preventative and curative oral healthcare is available here in North America, not everyone has sufficient coverage. Certain groups, such as the elderly or disabled, do not necessarily have access to affordable dental care. The problem is the shortage of oral health personnel. The majority of oral health services are offered from regional or central hospitals, and the lack of resources means little attention is given to preventative and restorative dental care.

The global prevalence of periodontal disease plays a significant role in oral disease, yet most oral healthcare providers and the general public fail to give it the attention it deserves. The purpose of the WHO report was to put the incidence of periodontal disease into perspective globally, as well as looking at strategies to prevent and control this disease. Read more »

Gum Disease May Mean More Than Just Bad Breath

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1, 43% of Americans will have lost at least six teeth by the age of 65, and many of these teeth will have been lost due to periodontal disease. Another 18% have lost all their teeth. While this statistic is extremely grim, periodontal disease has much wider implications for overall health, and one of the earliest signs of periodontal disease can be persistent bad breath.

Although it’s upsetting to have bad breath, it is one of the mildest side-effects of gum disease. Gum disease is a potentially serious condition, and clinical studies have shown that gum disease, or periodontal disease, generally develops as a result of poor oral hygiene. Japan’s Kyushu Dental College2 has done extensive research into the causes of bad breath, and has identified the microbes responsible for causing this somewhat antisocial condition.

They examined 101 adult volunteers, some of whom were suffering from periodontal disease while others had healthy mouths. By analyzing saliva samples from the group, the research team was able to identify species of a microbe called Bacteroides forsythus, which is normally found deep under the gum line in cases of advanced periodontal disease. This microbe is strongly correlated with bad breath. While this is interesting, it’s important to remember that poor oral health can have far more serious ramifications for your overall health. Read more »

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