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Video: Scientists Find Link Between Gum Disease And Cancer
Scientists find link between gum disease and cancer
This link is likely due to bacteria that cause gum disease. Early scientists already suspected that they could cause cancer of the esophagus and stomach.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
People who suffer from gum and periodontal disease are at increased risk of certain cancers, a new study published in the journal Gut shows.
Scientists from T.H. School of Public Health Chan of Harvard University (Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health) found that inflammation in the gums is associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal and stomach cancer. In addition, this risk was found to be higher in people with tooth loss.
The new study spanned decades of observation. The researchers analyzed data from the Nursing Health Survey (1992-2014) and the Observational Study of the Health of Medical Professionals (1988-2016). In total, data on about 150 thousand participants were analyzed.
It turned out that inflammation in the gums is associated with an increase in the risk of esophageal cancer by 42%, stomach cancer - by 52%. The loss of at least two teeth was associated with a 52% and 43% increased risk of stomach and esophageal cancer.
The authors believe that the link between gum disease and tumors of the digestive system may be due to the microbiota of the oral cavity. Previous studies have shown that bacteria that cause gum inflammation are found in esophageal cancer tissues. In addition, poor oral hygiene can be associated with the production of endogenous nitrosamines, carcinogens that can cause stomach cancer.
These findings, scientists say, highlight the importance of the oral microbiome for human health. In addition, gum disease can be considered a biomarker for the risk of certain cancers.
The study authors point out that their work does not provide evidence that gum disease is a cause of cancer. We are talking about the connection: now we can only say that with inflammation of the gums in a person, the probability of detecting these oncological pathologies is higher than the average.
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