A study done by the Federal University of Santa Maria Dental School in Brazil found that women with periodontitis (gum disease) are 2-3x more likely to develop breast cancer. This is yet another way that the health of our mouths is tied to our overall well-being. In this instance, the researchers believe that breast cancer may be triggered due to systemic inflammation resulting from gum disease.
The study was based on 67 women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and 134 controls from 2013 to 2015. It is important to remember that this study does not mean that gum disease causes breast cancer, but it is an important study as we continue to find new ways of fighting cancer and learning what may cause certain kinds to develop.
In the United States, for every 100,000 women, there are 124.9 new cases of breast cancer. Breast cancer continues to be studied, and a possible connection to dental health issues would be a new opportunity to learn and treat this form of cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 47% of individuals, 30 years and older, have some form of periodontal disease, and this percentage only increases with age. For individuals 65 and older, 70% of them experience gum disease. The best way to prevent gum disease is through proper dental hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing twice per day, and scheduling routine visits to the dentist.
If you have any questions or concerns about your gums, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Gum disease affects thousands of people each year and, if you can spot it early enough, it’s much simpler to treat.