It is no secret that good oral hygiene is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. However, proper dental hygiene is not just limited to our teeth – it also entails taking care of our gums. As a matter of fact, gum disease has been linked to numerous health conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer.
So, what exactly is the correlation between gum disease and cancer? Keep reading to find out.
Relationship Between Gum Disease and Cancer
Numerous research studies have found a strong link between gum disease and cancer.
One study conducted in 2017 with a sample size of 60,000 women found that individuals with a history of gum disease are at high risk of lung cancer, melanoma, esophageal cancer, and breast cancer. Another study in Finland revealed that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease might also be linked to pancreatic cancer.
It is worth noting that no study has yet provided irrefutable evidence that gum disease causes cancer, so the exact link between the two has not yet been established. However, as these studies suggest, controlling the bacteria that causes gum disease might significantly lower an individual’s cancer risk.
Lowering The Risk Of Cancer By Prioritizing Gum Health
As highlighted earlier, proper dental hygiene can go a long way in preventing gum disease and minimizing the risk for cancer. Here are some recommended practices that you should observe to keep your gums healthy:
1. Brush Regularly
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day removes plaque and bacteria, thus reducing the risk of gum infection. Avoid applying too much pressure when brushing as this can cause wear and tear on your gums and potentially increase your risk for gingivitis.
2. Floss Your Teeth Everyday
Flossing removes food particles between your teeth to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria that could otherwise cause cavities. It also improves the health of your gums, thus preventing redness and swelling.
3. Rinse with Mouthwash Daily
Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash regularly not only freshens your breath but also kills bacteria and clears food particles from your teeth.
4. Visit A Dentist Twice A Year
Seeing a dentist at least twice a year allows you to monitor your oral health. Remember, if you are diagnosed with a dental problem at the early stages, it can be resolved before it worsens.
Considering the correlation between gum disease and cancer, there is no better time to start prioritizing gum health. Start today by scheduling an appointment with a dentist and ramp up your oral care to protect your gums.