Can Dental Hygiene Have an Impact on Lung Cancer?

Posted by Samantha Powell on March 31st, 2014 |

Date: 3/31/14
Outlet Full Name: About.com – Lung Cancer
Author: Lynne Eldridge
http://lungcancer.about.com/b/2014/03/31/can-dental-hygiene-have-an-impact-on-lung-cancer.htm

We are learning more and more about chronic inflammation, and how it may lead to the development of cancer. This can be seen directly in some cancers in which cancer develops from local inflammation. Examples include HPV leading to cervical cancer and chronic esophageal reflux leading to esophageal cancer. But inflammation in one region of the body may also lead to the development of cancer in another region of the body.

There is now evidence that periodontal disease is associated with cancers of the lung, kidney, pancreas, head and neck, as well as leukemia and lymphomas.

Why? How could inflammation in the mouth lead to cancer at distant sites, such as lung cancer or kidney cancer?

Periodontal disease creates inflammation that doesn’t stop in the mouth; instead the inflammation results in an increased concentration of inflammatory markers throughout the body. An increased concentration of these inflammatory markers is in turn linked with an increased risk of several types of cancer.

What can you do to lower your risk, or what about if you already have cancer?

- Make regular appointments with your dentist.
- Brush and floss regularly.
- Before beginning chemotherapy it’s a good time to talk to your dentist; due to a low white count or platelet count your oncologist may recommend avoiding flossing and using a gentle toothbrush during treatment.
- Learn more about causes and prevention of periodontitis in the article below.
- Understanding Periodontitis

Check out some other effects that gum disease may have on the body:

- Gum Disease and Oral Hygiene May be Connected to Heart Disease and Stroke

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