Postmenopausal women suffering from periodontal disease have a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer.
A new study has shown that postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are 14% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
‘It could be that periodontal disease means there’s kind of a general inflammation in the body,’ Dr Jo Freudenheim, lead researcher from the department of epidemiology and environmental health at the State University of New York at Buffalo, said.
‘Inflammation is related to a number of cancers and stroke and heart disease, so it could be that chronic inflammation is causing both.
‘If we can study periodontal disease and breast cancer in other populations, and if we can do a more detailed study of the characteristics of periodontal disease, it would help us understand if there is a relationship.’
Periodontal disease has been linked with numerous other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia.
‘The health risks associated with gum disease are definitely not limited to the mouth, there is clear evidence that it can lead to some extremely serious health problems,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said.
‘This problem is made even worse due to the prevalence of gum disease; it is estimated that it affects half of all adults in the UK and up to 15% of adults are estimated to have severe periodontitis.
‘If you feel you have gum disease then you should visit you dentists straight away for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums.
‘Catching gum disease early is the best way to ensure that it is treated effectively.’