Dentistry is a constantly advancing science, and as we learn more, correlations have been increasingly seen between the health of your teeth and a patient's overall health.
In recent years there has been considerable talk about the link between oral health and disorders including heart disease, diabetes, and more.
Some of the newest information has included the correlation between an increased risk of Pancreatic Cancer and your oral health.
What is Pancreatic Cancer?
Pancreatic Cancer is a severe type of cancer. There are no known screening tests at this time, and it often escapes early diagnosis, so once a patient knows they have it, survival rates are low.
Dr. Jiyoung Ahn of NYU School of Medicine, noted that evidence have shown that certain bacteria found present in the mouth can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In a ten year study, they found that the patients who had one of two different specific bacterias present in their mouths, had an increased risk.
They found that the "presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis was linked to a 59% overall higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Similarly, presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans was linked to a 50% overall higher risk. Both types of bacteria are known to be associated with gum disease or periodontitis." - as reported by Medical News Today.
Patients who smoke were found to be at an additional added increase in risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
What can I do?
Patients can help decrease their risk. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy is the best way to combat bacteria. Following the directions that have been continuously ascribed by your dentist of daily brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist office for cleanings and exams, is the best way to keep your mouth healthy.
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