Gum Disease and Breast Cancer. Is There a Link?

September 19, 2011

Shocking. One word that sums up the latest study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. According to their research, chronic periodontal disease indicated, strangely, by missing molars, appears to be associated statistically with breast cancer.
The study involved 3273 randomly selected subjects aged 30-40 years. Of those selected, 1676 (group A) received an oral examination. Group B, consisting of the remaining 1597 did not receive an examination. 26 subjects in group A and 15 subjects in group B had breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer was 1.75% in subjects who had periodontal disease and/or any missing molars, and 0 in subjects who had periodontal disease but had no missing molars. For periodontally healthy subjects with no missing teeth the breast cancer incidence was 1%. For group B the respective incidence was 0.94%. Female gender (odds ratio (OR) 13.08) and missing any molar in the mandible (OR 2.36) were explanatory variables for breast cancer. Of the subjects with periodontal disease and any missing molars in the mandible 5.5% had breast cancer in comparison to 0.5% of the subjects who had periodontal disease but no missing molars in the mandible (P < 0.02).

Periodontal disease begins innocently enough as gingivitis, but unfortunately, the disease progresses very quickly if it’s not treated properly, and promptly. Once periodontal disease becomes irreversible, your risk for losing teeth increases substantially. Taking the above information into consideration, missing teeth, especially molars, appears to be the somewhat strange connection between periodontal disease and breast cancer.

I really strongly advise everyone to take any signs of “pink in the sink” very seriously. The first sign of gum disease is red, bleeding gums. Believe it or not, bleeding gums is not a normal occurrence when you are brushing your teeth. If you are consistently finding your gums bleed while you are brushing your teeth, speak with your dentist about how to halt the progression of gum disease; before it’s too late.


From The Science of Dentistry


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