Tooth Loss Linked to Several Cancers

The American Association for Cancer Research(AACR) recently reported the findings of a Japanese study which found a strong link between tooth loss and increased risk of esophageal, head and neck, and lung cancers. Scientists from the Aichi Cancer Center in Nagoya and Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine found that “…bacterial infection and inflammation resulting from poor oral care that leads to tooth loss could also be driving development of these cancers.”

Akio Hiraki, the study’s lead author notes that, “Tooth loss is a common consequence of chronic bacterial infection and may, therefore, serve as a surrogate for chronic infection and inflammation, which in turn may be important to the pathogenesis of cancer.”

The AACR notes that this is the largest study of its kind, and the first conducted with an Asian population. This study is also the first of its kind to show a link between tooth loss and lung cancer.

I wrote back in January, 2007, about a strong link developing between oral health and overall health. In that post, I referenced an American Dental Association(ADA) report that “…oral bacteria, in some studies, have been associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes and the birth of pre-term, low- birth- weight babies.” So, the link between oral health and overall health is nothing new. In fact, the link continues to grow stronger with each passing study.

So, what does this tell us? Simple. Dental care cannot be neglected. Our teeth are no less important to take care of than any other part of our body. It may seem absurd to some, but it’s true. The studies don’t lie.

Read more about the tooth loss-cancer link.

Source: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Do reported links between oral health and overall health change your attitude regarding dental care? Will you change your oral hygiene habits?

Reader Comments

  1. Tina Wilson May 20th

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    I don’t think I will change my oral care habits in any way, only because I’m already quite diligent. I do believe, however, that the strong link between oral health and overall health should reinforce the validity of my diligence.

  2. Shan Hoskins May 4th

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    My 34 year old sister is a cancer survivor. She has lost most of her teeth because of the radiation and having children.

    Is there any help out there that can give information on saving my sisters dignity.

  3. Suzann Price March 17th

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    There is no help. I am a FIVE TIME cancer SURVIVOR, but will eventually starve to death because I have no dental insurance. The so-called “charities” are filled with people who have abused drugs. The lists are as long as 2 years. I’ve contacted Dr. Phil, Oprah, Ellen, The Doctor’s and received absolutely no response. It was a doctor who over-dosed me on medication for a test that ruined my teeth. No attorney will take the case because there is not enough money to be made. NO ONE CARES.

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