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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk

This makes dental care very important now. Most of my mother's aunts and uncles have lost their teeth, I've always wondered if it was hereditary. It might not be, I made my first official visit to a dentist and I got what I've been waiting for a long time for, a cleaning. Of course it was more serious than that, all the plaque collected over the years resulted in peridontal disease so now in order to keep my teeth for a long time to come I not only have to brush but I have to floss thoroughly.

Indeed when I found this link thru Instapundit the headline was aptly titled, "another reason to floss."
There may be another good reason to floss each day: A new study finds that gum disease could raise the risk for cancer.

"Men with history of periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of cancer than those who did not have periodontal disease, and the increase persisted among never smokers," said lead researcher Dominique Michaud, a cancer epidemiologist at Imperial College London, in the U.K.

People with gum infections do have an increased amount of inflammatory markers circulating in their blood, and inflammation has been linked to cancer, experts say. But the exact link, if any, between gum disease and cancer remains unclear.

This new finding needs to be examined in other populations and among women, but it at least suggests that oral health may have some impact on cancer risk, Michaud said.

"If other data can support this association, then it will have implications for prevention and may provide some new clues on the role of the immune function in cancer development," Michaud said.

Go read the whole thing. Then save up for a dental appointment and get your teeth examined. It might be doing you a big favor! You might be able to save your teeth, if not decrease your risk for cancer.

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