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More Evidence of Tie Between Gum Disease and Cancer: Study

More Evidence of Tie Between Gum Disease and Cancer: Study
(Copyright DPC)

Thursday, 18 January 2018 09:07 AM

New US research has provided more evidence to suggest that there is a link between advanced gum disease and an increased risk of cancer.

Advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, is caused by bacterial infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. 

Although previous research has shown a link between periodontitis and an increased risk of cancer, the new study is the largest so far to look at the association using dental examinations to measure gum disease, rather than patient's self-reports.

Led by epidemiologists Dominique Michaud at Tufts University School of Medicine and Elizabeth Platz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center, the collaborative study used data from comprehensive dental exams performed on 7,466 participants who were followed from the late 1990s until 2012.

The team found that those who had severe periodontitis had a 24 percent increase in the risk of developing cancer when compared to those with mild to no periodontitis. 

In addition, among patients who had no teeth -- which can be a sign of severe periodontitis -- the increased risk of cancer rose to 28 percent. 

When the researchers did sub-group analyses, they also found that the highest risk was for lung cancer, with participants with severe periodontal disease showing more than double the risk of developing lung cancer compared to those with no or mild periodontitis.

This was followed by colorectal cancer, with patients who had no teeth showing an 80 percent increase in risk, a finding consistent with previous research. 

After taking into account the effect of smoking, with smokers showing an increased risk of developing periodontal disease as well as lung and colon cancers, the researchers found that even among those who had never smoked, having severe periodontal disease was still linked to an increased risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

The team also found a link between severe periodontitis and a small increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Although the increase was not statistically significant, the same association has been found in similar previous studies. A Finnish study published this week also found for the first time that the bacteria that causes periodontitis does seem to also play a role in the onset of pancreatic cancer.

However, the team found no links between periodontitis and an increased risk of breast, prostate or blood/lymphatic cancer. 

The team are now calling for further studies, with Michaud commenting that, "Additional research is needed to evaluate if periodontal disease prevention and treatment could help alleviate the incidence of cancer and reduce the number of deaths due to certain types of cancer."

The results can be found published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

© AFP/Relaxnews 2019

   
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New US research has provided more evidence to suggest that there is a link between advanced gum disease and an increased risk of cancer. Advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, is caused by bacterial infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that support the...
link, gum, disease, cancer, evidence, periodontitis
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2018-07-18
Thursday, 18 January 2018 09:07 AM
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