Three large studies report that people with periodontitis, an inflammation of the tissues surrounding their teeth, are at higher risk of prematurely dying from more than one type of cancer.
Increased inflammation in the mouth is transmitted in the body
In case of deficient oral hygiene, the bacteria that reside in our mouth can adhere to the surface of the teeth and form a kind of sticky and whitish coating known as dental plaque.
In addition to causing perforations of tooth enamel, known as cavities, the dental plaque can worsen over time and cause an increased inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, which causes considerable damage to the tissues surrounding the tooth, including laceration.
Periodontal disease or periodontitis is not only the leading cause of tooth loss in adults but can also be a threat to overall health.
By creating gum lesions, bacteria in the dental plaque can infiltrate the bloodstream and cause chronic inflammation in various organs of the body that increases the risk of developing certain chronic diseases.
Periodontitis increases the risks of cancer
Three recent studies suggest that one of the consequences of the periodontitis would be an increase in the risk of developing several types of cancer.
In the first study, the analysis of the dental records of more than 7,400 participants in a study on atherosclerosis revealed that people who were affected by severe periodontitis at the beginning of the study had 24% more risks of being affected by cancer in the next 15 years. These risks of cancer increased by periodontitis is particularly pronounced for lung cancer and colon cancer.
According to the authors, it is likely that these increases reflect the entry of bacteria into the body, as previous studies have shown that certain bacteria associated with periodontitis (Fusobacterium nucleatum, for example) were present in colorectal tumors and played a crucial role in their development.
The researchers concluded that indeed the periodontitis increases the risks of developing several forms of cancer due to the possibility that the bacteria causing inflammation in the mouth to be transmitted into the body causing inflammations in other organs.