Links between oral health and many serious ailments are continually being uncovered, which should only serve to further emphasize the importance of taking care of your mouth, gums, and teeth. Pancreatic cancer is yet another serious condition with ties to oral health, as has been revealed in studies performed at Brown University, Harvard, New York University, and others.
Pancreatic cancer is extremely hard to detect and causes death within six months of diagnosis. It is approximated that pancreatic cancer is responsible for nearly 40,000 deaths per year in the US. So, what is the connection between gum disease and pancreatic cancer?
The connection comes from changes in the microbial mix in your mouth. Those who have porphyromonas gingivalis in their mouth were at a 59% higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. In addition to prophyromonas gingivalis, those who had aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were one 50% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
While the names may not mean much to the average person, the important thing to understand is that both of these types of bacteria have been tied to gum disease.
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not take proper care of their gums. It is reported that nearly half of American adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. If you look at Americans over the age of 65, the percentage suffering from periodontal disease increases to 65%. Although not nearly as talked about, gum disease is almost 2.5 times more common than diabetes.
However, there is some good news! Gum disease responds extremely well to treatment and can easily be reversed after detected by your dentist.
As stated over and over again, optimal overall health starts with your oral health. If you are suffering from gum disease, or do not know for sure if you are suffering or not, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Mike or Dr. Dave may be advantageous. As stated before, gum disease is easily treated through multiple treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.