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Study IDs Connection Between Periodontitis, Breast Cancer

  • January 25, 2018

A Brazilian study has found that women who have periodontitis are at two to three times the risk of developing breast cancer, according to Dentistry Today.

Researchers at the Federal University of Santa Maria Dental School believe their findings could support the theory that breast cancer could be triggered due to“systemic inflammation originating in the infected gums,” the Dentistry Today article stated. “They also suggest that bacteria from the mouth may enter the circulatory system through the gums and then affect breast tissue.”

This study included nearly 70 women diagnosed with breast cancer, but there’s something important that the study did not find: It revealed no proof that gum disease causes breast cancer.

“It remains to be seen whether it is just an association,” saidDr. Nigel Carter of the Oral Health Foundation. More research is required to identify the specific relationship.

The Brazilian study joins a University of Buffalo study reported on in 2016 that identified a similar connection between breast cancer and periodontal disease. That study included more than 73,000 postmenopausal women previously undiagnosed with breast cancer.

The participants self-reported their data as part of the Women’s Health Initiative. That data showed that about 26 percent of the women had periodontal disease at the beginning of the study. After nearly seven years, the investigators found that women with periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according to DentistryIQ.

Researchers theorized  similarly to the researchers in the Brazilian study,in that“systemic inflammation from periodontal disease could affect breast tissue, or that oral bacteria that enter the circulatory system could affect the tissue,” the DentistryIQ article stated.

“This is another in what has become a long list of studies that identifies potential connections between gum disease and systemic disease,” said Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.

How to Combat Periodontal Disease

Dr. D and Dr. Henry Hsu, who works from the LANAP & Implant Center’s Williamsport location, work daily to educate patients on the importance of keeping their teeth and gums healthy and disease-free in an effort to maintain and even improve overall health.

One of the most effective ways to combat gum disease also happens to require no cutting, no sutures, and it’s virtually painless: LANAP. Short for laser-assisted new attachment procedure, LANAP detoxifies the mouth by removing bacterial infection. This office procedure triggers the