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Pancreatic cancer linked to gum disease, study finds

  • January 11, 2016

Our past few blog posts have brought you the latest information regarding periodontal, or gum, disease as it relates to your overall health. (Read about gum disease and low birth weight here, and gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis here.) This information is vital to your health, mainly because gum disease is incredibly easy to prevent with good oral hygiene habits — like brushing for two minutes, twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your dentist for twice annual checkups.

Today we’ve got another fascinating and relevant article to add to the growing research of the toll gum disease takes on your general wellbeing: a recent study in Taiwan suggests that pancreatic cancer can be added to the list of conditions related to gum infections.

Pancreatic cancer and periodontitis: The facts

To find whether or not there was a link between pancreatic cancer and periodontitis, researchers in Taiwan pulled 139,805 subjects with periodontal disease and 75,085 subjects without it from their country’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Comparing the incidence of pancreatic cancer between the two groups, they found that the condition was more common in adults over the age of 65.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 48,960 are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year in our own country, with 40,560 dying from the disease annually.

You can read about the whole study in a new window by clicking here.

Other conditions known to be linked to periodontal disease

Aside from the information we’ve already brought you regarding periodontal disease and your overall health, it’s known that the following conditions are also related to diseased gums.

Risk factors for gum disease

If you or a loved one have any of these risk factors, extra-vigilant oral care may be required to keep your gums healthy and disease-free.

  • Existing gingivitis (early stages of gum disease)
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor oral health habits (inadequate brushing, flossing, etc.)
  • Older age
  • Poor nutrition

Again, you can prevent the condition and insure your overall wellbeing by maintaining excellent oral health habits at home. Brush, floss, don’t smoke and don’t skip out on your twice-annual dental checkups and cleanings, and you’ll enjoy healthier teeth and disease-free gums as a result.