Bad breath that won’t go away however many times you clean your teeth. Red, swollen gums that bleed and are incredibly tender. Loose, sensitive teeth that can make chewing painful. There’s lots of reasons why you should seek treatment for gum disease, but a new study has further highlighted the importance of fast and early intervention if you’re suffering from periodontitis.
Researchers at Buffalo University have recently found that older women with a history of gum disease have up to a 14 per cent higher risk of developing particular types of cancer. It’s thought that pathogens can escape the mouth and into the esophagus and cause an increased susceptibility to esophageal and gallbladder cancer.
In this large-scale study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, over 65,869 postmenopausal women with an average of 68 were analysed. They were questioned whether they had every suffered from gum disease and medical records were searched to identify the prevalence of cancer.
One of the authors of the study, Dr Jean Wactawski-Wende, commented: “The esophagus is in close proximity to the oral cavity, and so periodontal pathogens may more easily gain access to and infect the esophageal mucosa and promote cancer risk at that site.”
Gum disease is serious
It’s not just the potential cancer risk; gum disease has been linked to lots of scary health conditions. Studies have found that gum disease sufferers are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, impacts on fertility, increases the risk of dementia, ups your chances of developing a respiratory infection and can make it harder to control your blood sugar, linking it to diabetes.
How we treat gum disease at 76 Harley Street
We take gums very seriously at our London dental practice as their health is often the root cause of most dental problems and lost teeth are usually the result of gum disease. Our periodontist Hatem Algraffee specialises in the treatment of gums and the underlying bone and a consultation will typically last an hour as he’ll carry out a thorough examination. He will also provide comprehensive advice on how to care for your gums and what treatments you may require. To arrange a consultation with Hatem, call us on 020 7631 3276.