Gum Disease and Cancer Risk

These two articles illustrate the ever-deepening understanding we have of the link between your mouth and the rest of you.

Healthy Gums

We provide gum health assessments as part of a structured and comprehensive approach to your oral health. Normally we update these reviews over a three-year cycle-but it does depend on your risk profile and your past experience of gum or periodontal disease. Plus, how well you chose your grandparents, as quite a bit of periodontal disease seems to be hereditary, like so many of our modern ‘lifestyle’ diseases.

Read more about periodontal assessments here.

Pancreatic cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths, is elusive, with vague symptoms that often result in late diagnosis. Because it is so lethal and hard to detect until its advanced stages, scientists have been looking for ways to spot it early. Now researchers, including a team at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, think gum disease may one day help identify people at greater risk. Gum disease — which affects about a quarter of all adult Australians, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare — has been linked to stroke, diabetes and other ailments. The American Heart Association has disputed the notion that the association is causal, but some researchers speculate that poor gum health may give rise to chronic inflammation that promotes the growth of cancer cells. In a recent study published in the journal Gut, the Brown researchers compared 405 people with pancreatic cancer and 416 who did not have the disease. They found that higher levels of antibodies to Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium that plays a role in gum disease, were twice as common in people with pancreatic cancer. Read more

New York Times Article

Sydney Morning Herald original article


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