Sad womanYour oral health is often a direct reflection of your overall health. So when your gums are sore and bleeding or you require gum disease treatment, it can be an indicator that something larger is going on. Researchers have gone so far as to link lung, esophageal, kidney and breast cancers to gum disease and declining oral health. Now, one of the leading causes of cancer death, pancreatic cancer, may be connected to oral health.

Researchers found two types of oral bacteria that may increase a patient’s risk of pancreatic cancer, meaning their presence could tell dentists which patients are most at risk of developing the disease.

After a multi-year study of more than 700 patients, researchers determined that one type of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, gave patents a 59 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer, while the other, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, had a 50 percent higher risk.

A recent study released in the journal Gut, reviewed the correlation between pancreatic cancer and oral bacteria, but also studied the link between patients’ levels of antibodies. In a study of more than 800 Europeans, researchers found that patients with high levels of antibodies for harmless oral bacteria had a 45 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer. As reported by the American Dental Association, this furthers researchers’ ideas that there is a connection between oral health and pancreatic cancer.

Future Research for New Screening Techniques of Oral Bacteria

Researchers hope that further study will help in developing new screening techniques to increase early detection of pancreatic and other cancers by reviewing oral bacteria.

If your gums have been unusually sore, bleeding or red, give us a call today at (775) 358-1555 to discuss your symptoms and our methods of periodontal disease treatment.