A Connection between Gum Disease and Pancreatic Cancer?

Monday, February 13, 2017

New discoveries and information comes out almost daily in the medical world. There is always research being conducted that will help us lead healthier lives. Recently, there was a study conducted at NYU that uncovered a link between pancreatic cancer and periodontal disease. This information was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research, and states that periodontal disease may be an early indication of pancreatic cancer.


Gum Disease


While taking care of your gums is critical to good health, the majority of adults in the US do not do so. Studies show that, among adults over the age of 30, almost 50% suffer from periodontal disease. When you look at adults over the age of 65, 65% suffer from periodontal disease. These numbers suggest that periodontal disease is almost 3 times more common than type 2 diabetes. While it is extremely common, periodontal disease does respond very well to treatment—so there is hope! The best way to determine if you have periodontal disease, and to begin treatment, is to maintain your routine visits to the dentist.

Typically, pancreatic cancer is not easy to detect, and can be fatal within six months of being diagnosed. Pancreatic cancer is linked to almost 40,000 deaths each year in the United States. Therefore, anything that can help you detect pancreatic cancer early, like spotting periodontal disease, should be noted. The connection between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer has to do with bacteria that is in your mouth. If porphyromonas gingivalis or aggregatibacter antinomycetemcomitans are present in your mouth, you are at, at least a 50% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Both of the above bacterias are connected to gum disease.

As stated many times before, good overall health and wellness begins with good oral health. Want to schedule an appointment to have your gums evaluated for periodontal disease? Feel free to contact us today at our office in Delaware, OH to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lechner.

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