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Gum Disease and Liver Cancer: The Surprising Connection

June 8, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lakesidedaytonadentist @ 5:55 pm

diagnosis liver cancerThe gums are one of the main gateways into the human body. That is why gum disease in Daytona Beach is associated with an increased risk of a number of serious systemic illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more. Recent research has even found startling evidence that gum disease may have a drastic effect on an individual’s chances of developing liver cancer. Let’s discuss the connection between the two conditions and how you may be able to protect yourself from them.

A 75% Increased Risk of Liver Cancer

A recent study, based in the United Kingdom, set out to examine a possible connection between digestive cancers and poor oral health. While the study was inconclusive about whether oral health problems have any real connection to cancers of the digestive system, it did reveal a surprising link between liver cancer and poor oral health. Individuals who reported oral health problems were 75% more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common of the adult cancers that begin in the liver.

This report is particularly troubling because liver cancer is becoming ever more common; incidences of it in the U.S. have tripled since 1980. It is estimated that slightly over 42,000 cases of liver cancer will be diagnosed in 2019. Nearly 32,000 people are expected to die of liver cancer this year.

The reason for the correlation between poor oral health and liver cancer remains unclear, although it may have to do with the liver’s role in eliminating harmful bacteria from the body. It is possible that bacteria from the mouth can invade the liver and impair its ability to do its job properly.

What It Means for You

Many of the individuals in the study who reported poor oral health had telltale signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums and loose teeth. Given the strong possibility that gum disease could affect your liver, you have every reason to take the best possible care of your mouth! You can do so by:

  • Visiting your dentist in Daytona Beach at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If your dentist notices early signs of gum disease, they can provide treatment and advice to get your oral health back on track.
  • Sticking to good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis. You should brush twice a day and floss once a day.
  • Staying away from cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Tobacco users are at a significantly increased risk of gum disease.
  • Eating a balanced diet. Leafy greens and other antioxidant-rich foods promote oral and overall health.

How healthy are your gums? Taking care of this precious pink tissue could drastically reduce your risk of developing liver cancer!

About the Author

Dr. Renata Santeli is proud to work alongside Dr. Gladston Silva to provide comprehensive oral care to the Daytona Beach community. She provides a range of services, including thorough preventive exams to help patients maintain healthy gums. If you would like her help to keep your smile in its best shape possible, contact our office today at 386-274-2021.

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