Uncovering the Link Between Esophageal Cancer and Gingivitis
The Oral Systemic Link has already showed the connection between many diseases and oral health. Diabetes, stroke, cardiac disease, and many other disorders are being linked to the oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream through the gums in people with periodontal disease or gingivitis. Researchers have now found that esophageal cancer may also be one of the health problems linked to gum disease, making it more important than ever to care for your oral health.
Study Showing the Correlation Between Gingivitis and Esophageal Cancer
A study published in the Infectious Agents and Cancer performed at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry has found a connection between the bacteria responsible for gingivitis and esophageal cancer. The researchers studied 100 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), along with a 30-person control panel. The purpose of the study was to test esophageal tissue for the presence of P. gingivalis, one of the core bacteria responsible for gum disease or gingivitis. The study tested esophageal tissue for the bacteria cell DNA of P. gingivalis and the linked enzyme lysine-gingipain. Esophageal tissue samples were taken from the patients with ESCC, as well as from the control group.
The results of the study showed a direct link between the gingivitis bacteria and the tissue extracted from the ESCC patients. 61% of the patients with ESCC had the bacteria P. gingivalis detected in their esophageal samples. The bacteria were less likely to be in the tissue next to cancerous cells, with only 12% of the adjacent sample containing the gingivitis DNA or enzyme. What is remarkable was that those without ESCC had no detectable amounts of P. gingivalis in their esophageal tissue samples.
So what does this mean? Although it is not proof that gingivitis causes esophageal cancer, it can be considered a risk factor. In this study, not only was the gingivitis bacteria prevalent in the ESCC tissue samples, it also correlated to the metastasis and overall survivor rate. More studies will need to be done to determine whether gingivitis is a cause of this cancer that affects 15,000 people every year in the U.S. Uncovering this link could help prevent future cancer victims and save thousands of lives by improving oral health.
Improving Your Oral Health for Better Overall Health
The Oral Systemic Link is continuing to show how important your oral health is to maintaining overall well-being. The number one concern is preventing gum disease by keeping your teeth and gums free from bacteria, plague and tarter. Eating healthy, brushing and flossing are all part of keeping your gums healthy. The other component is scheduling regular checkups and cleanings with our team at Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental.
Our dentists at Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental are here to help you prevent and treat gingivitis and periodontal disease, as well as take care of all of your dental needs. Maintain the health of your gums and protect your overall health by calling us today to learn more about preventing gum disease and retaining your beautiful smile, contact us now.