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Oral Bacteria Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Oral Bacteria Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Harmful Oral bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease. But that is not all. Oral health has a bearing on your overall health, and there is now even stronger evidence of this association. Recent research has discovered a link between pancreatic cancer and antibodies for oral bacteria.

Researchers examined blood samples of more than 800 adults. Approximately half of the subjects had pancreatic cancer and half did not. Researchers controlled for smoking, diabetes, body mass index and other risk factors. In addition, the blood samples used were taken prior to the cancer diagnosis, minimizing the chance that the cancer itself impacted antibody development.

Findings showed a 2-fold increase in the incidence of pancreatic cancer for those with high levels of antibodies to a particular strain of harmful oral bacteria. Those with high levels of antibodies for certain harmless oral bacteria, on the other hand, had a 45 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. There are few if any early warning signs, making it extremely difficult to diagnose. In addition, it is often aggressive, spreading quickly. As a result, most patients die within six months after diagnosis.

Because of the grim outcome for those who develop pancreatic cancer, any risk factors should be minimized to the fullest extent possible. Based on this research, it is clear that the reduction of harmful oral bacteria should be given strong attention.

To do so, follow these guidelines.

• Brush your teeth twice a day
• Floss daily
• Get regular professional cleanings and oral exams

If you experience red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush you likely have gum disease. A periodontist can treat this condition before it gets worse. Contact our office to learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it.

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