Is There a Link Between Gum Disease and Cancer?

woman holding her mouth in tooth pain

Gum disease isn't some rare condition. In fact,External link opens in new tab or window Byte reports "about 30 percent of adults have moderate gum disease,” while 8.5 percent suffer from a severe case. As the statistics grow, so does the need for more dental hygiene education and better personal practices.

When it comes to your health, no question is too small to ask, especially if one problem links to an ever bigger one. Understanding not only the symptoms but the possible causes of gum disease is important to keeping your health in check and preventing even more serious diseases.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums and soft tissue surrounding your teeth, and it's just as unpleasant as it sounds.

Ranging from mild to severe, this disease can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Poor dental hygiene

  • Hormones

  • Smoking

  • Genetics

Symptoms of gum disease can include tenderness or bleeding when you brush your teeth, bad breath, andExternal link opens in new tab or window receding gums. There is still hope it can be treated before it gets too severe with a variety of treatments, such as deep cleaning, antibiotics, or surgery.

Are Gum Disease and Cancer Connected?

Unfortunately, gum disease and cancer are linked to each other. Gum disease can cause inflammation which can lead to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as oral, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers.

In fact, an article published byExternal link opens in new tab or window ACS Journals in 2021 reports that a study indicated that a history of periodontal disease seems to have increased the risk of cancer, and people who have a higher risk of cancer have also previously lost teeth.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Overall Dental Hygiene and Lower the Risk of Cancer?

The best way to lower your risk of gum disease and cancer is quite simple: practice good dental hygiene. A step-by-step breakdown includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

  • Flossing regularly

  • External link opens in new tab or windowVisiting the dentist for regular cleanings

Err on the side of caution — it's best to cut down on smoking,External link opens in new tab or window avoid sugary snacks and drinks, and limit your alcohol consumption. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a good replacement for these things and can aid in lowering your risk of gum disease and cancer.

What Can North Pole Dental Do to Help?

At North Pole Dental, we are dedicated to helping you keep your oral health in top condition. We offer a variety of services — cleanings, fluoride treatments, X-rays — that can help maintain gum disease, and therefore, reduce the risk of cancer.

Our team of dental experts will work with you to assess your unique situation and develop a personalized plan that best fits your needs. Our goal is to make sure you get the proper treatment so that gum disease does not lead to cancer or other health complications.

External link opens in new tab or windowContact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you maintain optimal oral health! From preventive care to restorative treatments, North Pole Dental is here to help!