A number of studies have rolled out recently linking a myriad of serious illnesses with gum disease – a byproduct of poor dental hygiene. Some of the big names on the list include Alzheimer’s Disease, Pancreatic Cancer and Heart Disease. These are very real and very substantial threats whose likelihood appears to increase with the presence of gum disease (Periodontitis). Unfortunately, yet another example of the integral part your dental health plays in your overall condition has been discovered. A study recently published out of the University of Louisville has added another big name to the list: Esophageal Cancer.
The bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (which results in gingivitis) may be a new risk factor when it comes to esophageal cancer. The esophagus is the “food pipe” where food and drink travel from your throat to your stomach. The findings of the study were that in 61% of diagnosed with a form of esophageal cancer (ESCC), a species of gingivitis-causing bacteria was also present. These findings could serve as a form of prognostic biomarker for diagnosing esophageal cancer.
This study, published in the journal Agents and Cancer, has provided the first direct evidence that this form of bacteria known to cause gingivitis, could be a novel risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The findings provide a clear indication that this bacterial infection may facilitate the development of esophageal cancer. If these findings prove to be reliable, it is possible that a simple antibiotic treatment could help fight ESCC and methods that target the P. gingivalis bacteria may also help destroy cancer cells.
Contact Lifetime Family Dental today if you are suffering from bleeding, discolored, or receding gums that may be an early indication of gingivitis. 480-558-4331
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/2/2016) mararie(Flickr)