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Are Your Patients Aware of the Gum Disease/ Lung Cancer Connection?

  • October 8, 2016

Here’s another reason to urge your patients to get their gum disease under control: it may be connected to an increased risk of lung cancer.

A review published in the Journal of Periodontology in June, included five studies that involved more than 320,000 participants. Their findings stated, “periodontal disease was associated with a significant risk of lung cancer,” according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

The data also showed that women who have periodontal disease are more likely than men to develop lung cancer.

A study in The Lancet Oncology found that men with a history of gum disease were 36 percent more likely to get lung cancer, according to the American Dental Association.

One study researchers reviewed in the Journal of Periodontology suggested that certain oral bacteria may play a role in cancer cells forming in the lungs. On the bright side, another study reviewed suggested that treating and managing gum disease may significantly reduce a person’s chances of getting lung cancer.

We hope this finding will prompt researchers to look deeper into the lung cancer/gum disease connection, because the more we can learn about gum disease’s connection to serious systemic illnesses, the better we can reinforce the importance of gum disease treatment as an approach to improved overall health.

If you have patients whose periodontal disease is not under control, we invite you to refer them to our practice. Together, we can improve our patients’ oral and overall health.