Despite the great overall oral health situation in Canada, there’s still a growing concern with gum problems among the general population. According to the Canadian Dental Association, up to 70% of the population will develop a gum problem at some point in their lifetime. More people tend to suffer from the disease, however, as they age.
The upside about this health problem is that they can be easily treated with early diagnosis. The downside is they tend to progress slowly. By the time most sufferers see a specialist, the disease is already at a serious stage. About 20% of Canadians have gum disease right now and not know about it and that it’s very likely the problem will get worse within a few years.
This is one of the reasons regular visits to a dentist are a must. Knowing a highly-rated professional periodontist locally can also help manage such problems immediately.
Gum Diseases and Their Link to Cancer
While gingivitis and a host of other gum problems are treatable with improved oral hygiene, experts do not think it’s completely inconsequential. This led a team of researchers from the University of Buffalo to look into the possibility of gum disease being a risk factor for cancer.
With the fact that such dental ailments are more common among adults, they focused their study on postmenopausal women.
The study looked into the health histories of more than 65,000 women aged 54 to 86. They took histories and health information from 1999 to 2003 and set follow-ups after a few years. 7,149 cancers were diagnosed at an average of 8 years after the women joined the study. This made the team conclude that gum diseases can increase the risk of cancer in aging women.
According to the researchers, periodontal diseases can increase a woman’s risk of developing any cancer type by 14%. The highest risk is for esophageal cancer. Older women with gum disease are also three times more likely to develop cancer than those with a good oral condition. Lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and gallbladder cancer are also highly likely to be brought about by a periodontal disease.
Unfortunately, because the study used questionnaires to collect the medical histories of the subjects, their gum disease problems are considered as self-reported. Without a professional diagnosis, some cancer and dental experts question the precision of the study.
Managing Cancer Risks with Periodontal Professionals
While more studies are needed to confirm the link between gum disease and cancer, it doesn’t diminish the fact that people need to focus on their oral health. Whether or not there’s truly a link between cancer and gum diseases, it’s still best to keep oral health in top shape. Ensuring that gums are in great condition should be the primary goal.
Practicing good oral hygiene is definitely the best way to ensure good dental health. Proper and regular brushing and flossing are essential to thoroughly clean oral cavities. Good hygiene can also help control the bacterial growth inside the mouth which will minimizes the risk of developing a gum disease. Regular visits to a dentist are very important, especially for semi-annual cleaning.
Knowing the signs of gingivitis is also very important to stay on top of oral health. The experts agree that spotting gum disease early on can save needing expensive treatment later. Getting to a professional periodontist right away to get the right treatment.
Being experts in tissue around the teeth, periodontists treat infections and other diseases in oral cavities, especially in gums. They can help treat severe gum diseases and prevent the problem from getting worse.