Cancer is a disease likely to affect everyone in one way or another – if not as a sufferer ourselves, than by knowing and loving someone who has been diagnosed. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity where members of the general public and members of the health care field work together to raise awareness of this particular form of cancer as well as topics such as screening. This month, the team at India Hook Dental would like to share some information about breast cancer risk factors.
Surprising New Data
The link between risk factors such as smoking and alcohol and breast cancer diagnoses has been demonstrated by research again and again. A new link emerged from data collected and analyzed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which included studies that had been conducted from 1983 – 2001. This data suggests that periodontal disease (gum disease) is a risk factor in breast cancer. Results from scientific surveys taken by 3,273 people were reported in The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. These published results support the finding that individuals with chronic gum disease had a higher occurrence of breast cancer.
Dangerous to More Than Teeth
Gum disease is certainly best-known for causing extensive damage to teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Left untreated it has the potential to cause severe pain, tooth loss, and other complications. Because gum disease is essentially an infection that leads to tissue damage, it has the potential to cause many other problems throughout the body. It can contribute to health concerns such as:
- Heart disease
- Prostate cancer
- Problems with pregnancy
Because periodontal disease has the distinct potential to harm health in so many ways, taking steps to treat it is very important. Prevention is certainly the best option, but many people affected by the earliest stages may not even be aware of the problem. This is one of the reasons why regular checkups for dental cleaning are so important. Your dental care team is here to help, so be sure to talk about gum disease the next time you come to see us.