Breast Cancer and Oral Health

November 29, 2017

One in eight women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in her life; while many understand the major risk factors of cancer, such as smoking and alcohol use, many do not know that their oral health can play a part in a cancer diagnosis. Specific to breast cancer, one is 11 times more likely to develop this disease if they have poor oral health or gum disease. Other diseases that one is more prone to develop when they have gum disease include pneumonia, prostate cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Past Studies

When specifically looking at oral health and breast cancer, past studies have shown that one will have a higher risk of developing breast cancer with gum disease. In a survey of 3,273 people, the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment found that those with chronic periodontal disease, or gum disease, had a much higher rate of breast cancer. Another study conducted by the World Health Organization from 1985 to 2001 showcased the correlation between gum disease and breast cancer, as well as its affects on other aforementioned conditions.


Ultimately, why does gum disease have such a significant impact on breast cancer rates? One main reason is inflammation. This is the first sign of gum disease, and without treatment, the plaque continues to build up. The bacteria in the plaque on your teeth are the same found in those that suffer from arteriosclerosis, and can lead to other viruses. Due to this, the body’s immune system can be oppressed; you can develop other diseases that increase the risk of cancer (heart disease, etc.), eventually leading to an increased rate of breast cancer.

Oral Health at Washington Dental Care

Knowing the negative affects of gum disease, and poor oral health in general, make sure you are brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist once every six months! Make an appointment at Washington Dental Care and we can provide a general exam, as well as any other dental services you may need.

Oral Health West Loop, Chicago, IL

Courtesy of: Total Health

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