Thursday, December 21, 2017 by Rita Winters
Here’s something to make you check your teeth today: Bacteria in the mouth have long been known to cause various diseases in other parts of the body. While saliva may serve as the first line of defense against unwanted contaminants, some bacteria may be tougher to break down. A study from the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil found that gum disease caused by certain bacteria increases the risk of breast cancer in women by up to three times.
Some bacteria cause bad breath, while others can cause inflammation in the mouth. When these bacteria infiltrate the gums, they may pose the risk of entering the circulatory system, and travel to other parts of the body. These bacteria also cause periodontitis, a severe gum infection that damages soft tissues and destroys the teeth. Periodontitis can cause your gums to loosen up and result in tooth loss. Moreover, these bacteria can infect other soft tissues in the body such as breast tissue.
The study, led by Dr. Nigel Carter of the Oral Health Foundation, enlisted 201 women, 67 of which had breast cancer. Individual information was gathered, such as medical history and lifestyle habits, including smoking and alcohol consumption. All of the participants were evaluated for gum inflammation. The findings of the study, published in the Journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, stated that the women with severe gum infections were three times more likely to have breast cancer. Dr. Carter’s research is important because it creates another point of view in identifying the cause of diseases, in this case, starting in the mouth. The researchers involved in the study call for more studies to be done to be able to associate oral diseases with whole body diseases fully.
It’s good to have pearly white teeth and fresh-smelling breath, but taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums, may be more beneficial than you think. Practicing good oral hygiene not only provides you with higher self-esteem but also helps prevent diseases such as breast cancer and heart disease. Preventing oral diseases and infections is one of the easiest methods in keeping healthy. Here are some tips to guide you towards excellent oral health.