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Is there a link between poor oral health and cancer?

Not so long ago, when a patient heard the word “cancer”, they immediately thought it would be an inevitable death sentence for them. Fortunately, there has been a tremendous amount of research that has been done in the past 20 years, that is exposing potential causes of cancer such as environmental factors, lifestyle, and most importantly, oral health. 

While the common phrase “You are what you eat” is true, the condition of your mouth maybe even more important. For example, it is common knowledge amongst cardiologists that what is going on in the mouth can absolutely affect the heart, which is why cardiologists will have patients see a dentist prior to any type of heart procedure. This is commendable, but wouldn’t it be better if doctors told their patients when they are young, that good dental health is the key to whole-body health and that poor oral health can affect the heart? 

The same holds true for various cancers that are now being researched and their relation to oral health. Most people are unaware that there are many dental materials and procedures that are commonly done in dentistry that can be a risk factor for the patient. A very common dental material such as nickel has been identified as a carcinogen. It is used to make dental crowns and is used in orthodontic wires and brackets. There is also the continued use of mercury dental amalgams, titanium implants, and fluoride, which all have high levels of toxicity. Then there are treatments such as root canals treatments, implants insertions, and crowns cementations, that can be toxic to the patient.  

The relationship between periodontal disease and cancer is becoming widely examined. What is being found is that microorganisms in the mouth are being definitively linked to cancer, the second leading cause of death around the world. These oral bacteria have been implicated in the development of various cancers including oral, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Patients that had severe periodontal disease were at risk for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Periodontal disease was also a risk factor in lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.  

The DNA ConneXions® – Propensity Panel Test identifies 19 of the most common bacterial species implicated in various cancers and other systemic diseases. Knowing your risk factor for the development of the disease can allow you to be proactive in your dental care. This can be achieved by working with a biological dentist to restore the mouth as holistically as possible by doing a “Full Dental Revision”. This is why we say “Don’t guess. Get the test”.