Gum Bacteria Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

bacteriaYou have no idea that with just one open of your mouth, your dentist could actually pinpoint all of the systemic diseases and malignancies which you could be at risk for. The previous studies have implicated gum diseases with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, risk for stroke, and even preterm deliveries for pregnant women. However, a new study may have uncovered a link between the health of gums and pancreatic cancer.

The results of this latest research were published in the magazine Gut and states that a certain bacterial strain is actually implicated in the development of pancreatic cancer. According to the results of the study, the presence of that said bacterium could actually lead to a two-fold rise in a person’s risk for pancreatic cancer. At the same time, those who did not harbor the bacteria in their mouths had a 45 percent lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer as compared to those who did.

Although the results of the study are still insufficient enough to confirm if gum disease is directly related to the development of pancreatic cancer, the results are enough to indicate a possible link between the two diseases. This study isn’t a pioneer in the field and previous studies have already uncovered the link between the two diseases. While both studies could not establish gum disease as a definite risk factor for pancreatic cancer the results are concrete steps towards that.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in the United States with around 37,000 individuals expected to die this year as a result of having this type of malignancy. Around 44,000 will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within the year with one in every 76 Americans developing the disease. Most of the time, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in individuals above the age of 45. Pancreatic cancer is a silent disease and it develops slowly over time. Early detection is difficult because of this nature of the disease which makes the results of the study very significant since it seeks to determine a way to measure a person’s risk for having pancreatic cancer.

Gum disease is a very common dental condition and it’s estimated that 1 out of every 3 Americans show signs of periodontal disease. Gingivitis and other gum diseases are caused by inflammation of the gums following infection by bacteria which are accumulated in one’s mouth through the accumulation of plaque and subsequent formation of tartar. Good dental hygiene is your first line of defense against gum diseases.

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photo credit: AJC1 via photopin cc

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