Oral Bacteria and Pancreatic Cancer
A recent study has found a link between oral bacteria and pancreatic cancer. This study, which was published in the journal “Gut,” revealed that the study participants with high antibodies to Porphyromonas gingivalis, a periodontal bacteria, had twice the risk of pancreatic cancer as other study participants. Researchers noted that those with higher levels of commensal, or healthy, oral bacteria, were about forty-five percent less likely to suffer from pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer claims the lives of 40,000 Americans every year and can be difficult to detect. The prognosis tends to be poor and the illness often kills within six months of diagnosis. Previous studies have found links between pancreatic cancer and gum disease, but this is the first study of its kind that tested for antibodies and cancer risk as well as testing for healthy bacteria and decreased risk. Further research is needed to better explore the nature of this connection, but it is a good reminder for patients to take their dental health as seriously as they take their general health.
While good dental hygiene alone may not be enough to protect you against this deadly disease, it can be a good step towards a healthier lifestyle. Poor periodontal health has been linked with not just pancreatic cancer but also type 2 diabetes, pregnancy complications, dementia, and heart disease. Brush, floss, and use antimicrobial mouthwash every day, and visit us twice a year for checkups. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
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