Breast cancer linked to gum disease

A new study suggests that women may be significantly more linked to suffer from breast cancer if they are missing teeth and have gum disease.

The study carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden on over 3 000 patients, concentrated on the 41 people who developed breast cancer. It found that those who had gum disease and had lost teeth were 11 times more likely to go on to develop breast cancer.

As this appears to be first study presenting such findings, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation Dr Nigel Carter believes more needs to be done in order to confirm the results.

Dr Carted said: ‘If future studies can also testify to the link between missing teeth and breast cancer, more has to be done to raise public awareness on the issue. The British Dental Health Foundation has a history of campaigning for better oral health, and the findings presented in the study indicate another clear link between your general and oral health.’

There is growing body of evidence to link oral health with wider health issues.

In people who have gum disease, it is thought that bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream and affect the heart, causing a higher risk of heart disease. The same principles affect those with diabetes, as people with the condition are more likely to pick up infections.

People with gum disease are also taught to be at a higher risk of strokes, chest infections, and pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely to have a premature baby with a low birth weight.