Researchers have investigated the role of bacteria that cause periodontitis, an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth, in the development of oral cancers and certain other cancers, as well as the link between periodontitis and cancer mortality on the population level.
A study published in the International Journal of Cancer showed that on the population level, periodontitis is clearly linked with cancer mortality. An especially strong link to mortality caused by pancreatic cancer was found.
These studies have demonstrated for the first time that the virulence factors of the bacteria underlying gum disease are able to spread from the mouth to other parts of the body and take part in central mechanisms of tissue destruction related to cancer.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that a low-grade systemic inflammation related to periodontitis facilitates the spreading of oral bacteria and their virulence factors to other parts of the body. They point out that the prevention and early diagnosis of periodontitis are very important not only for patients’ oral health but their overall well-being.
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