Posts tagged: periodontal disease treatment

Premature Death from Cancer Linked to Dental Plaque In New Study

The results of a recent study published in the British Medical Journal Open seem to indicate the possibility of a link between risk of premature death due to cancer and persistent dental plaque. The study took place in Stockholm, Sweden and was led by Professor Birgitta Söder. It was pretty comprehensive as it looked at the health of nearly 1,400 Swedish adults over a period of 24 years. The objective of the study was to determine whether or not the amount of dental plaque, which generally indicates poor oral hygiene, could be associated with premature death from cancer.

The study started in 1985 when the participants were all in their 30s and 40s, and continued until 2009. At the beginning of the study all participants were given a questionnaire to discover if there were any factors that might increase their risk of developing cancer. The questionnaire assessed variables such as whether or not they smoked, and their socio-economic status. They also received a clinical assessment. This revealed that while gum disease wasn’t prevalent, there were substantial deposits of plaque on the tooth surface.

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Can Losing Weight Help Me Fight Gum Disease?

The latest research is suggesting so. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine have found the body is better able to fight off gum disease when it has fewer fat cells as these cells can trigger inflammation. The findings come from a pilot study of 31 obese people who had an average body mass index (BMI) of 39 and who were also suffering from gum disease. Half of the group underwent gastric bypass surgery and had fat cells removed from the abdomen, while the control group did not undergo surgery or have any fat removed.

Both groups were treated for their gum disease using a combination of appropriate nonsurgical periodontal treatments. These included scaling and root planing and improved daily oral hygiene routines. Although both groups showed improvement, those who had undergone surgery fared better on plaque levels, bleeding and measures for periodontal attachment. One thing which fascinated the researchers was that the glucose levels dropped in the group who underwent surgery and who had fat cells removed, as this finding could be significant for overweight people at risk of developing diabetes or insulin related problems.

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