Can Dental Plaque Increase Risk of Cancer?

cancerDental Plaque Causes Inflammation Inside the Body

You already know that removing dental plaque by brushing and flossing can prevent halitosis, cavities and gingivitis, but it can also prevent cancer. A recent study revealed that the bacteria inside your mouth can enter your bloodstream to cause inflammation in your vital organs and bones.

When your body has inflammation from bacteria, your immune system becomes depleted from fighting against the infection. With depleted immune functions, your body is less able to fight against the dangerous cancerous cells that affect your health.

Researchers Conducted a Study In Sweden

Dental plaque collects along the surface of your teeth, and it contains bacteria that will erode your teeth and infect your gums. Researchers used a test group of 1,400 adults in Sweden to study the affects of plaque on overall health. This study lasted for over 20 years, and the participants were questioned on a routine basis about their habits such as smoking cigarettes. In addition, each participant had a comprehensive dental examination to learn about a buildup of plaque, gum disease and loss of teeth.

Results Revealed That Poor Dental Hygiene Is Linked To Cancer

Toward the end of this study, nearly 60 of the 1,400 test subjects had died from cancer. Females in this test primarily died from breast cancer while males died from five different types of cancer.

Physicians examined the teeth of the deceased individuals and determined that they had a higher amount of plaque on their teeth than the test subjects who were still alive. Despite looking at the other statistics for the test subjects, researchers believe that having dental plaque is a primary risk for having cancer.

Periodontal Disease From Plaque Is Linked To Pancreatic Cancer

In the United States, scientists conducted a study of adult males to determine if poor dental hygiene that leads to gingivitis also causes pancreatic cancer. This study involved over 50,000 test subjects, and it revealed that periodontal disease that caused a loss of one or more teeth could lead to a higher risk of having pancreatic cancer. The test subjects who had inflammation markers in their bloodstream developed poor immune systems that linked them to a higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

Carcinogenic Compounds Combine With Digestive Enzymes

Experts suggest that the carcinogenic compounds in the mouth combine with digestive enzymes in the digestive tract, leading to cancerous cells that travel to the pancreas. This condition is diagnosed in over 30,000 individuals in the United States each year, but this condition is often diagnosed too late for proper treatment. By learning more about the possible risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer, researchers hope to prevent more cases of this medical condition.

Remove Plaque To Help Prevent Cancer

To help prevent the condition, dentists tell their patients to brush their teeth at least twice a day along with flossing once a day. If you have a problem removing plaque, then use an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized water to remove plaque from the pockets around the teeth. In addition, it is important to visit a dentist’s office every six months for a professional cleaning to remove hard plaque.