Connection between Missing Teeth, Gum Disease and Breast Cancer
It is definitely important to practice good oral hygiene if you wish to maintain good overall health. Proper oral hygiene can be achieved by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, along with visiting the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning. Improper oral hygiene allows for plaque and bacteria to build up, causing tooth decay. Plaque that is not removed can also cause tartar. When plaque, tartar, and decay start affecting the teeth at the gumline, gum disease is likely the next step. Gum disease is trouble on its own, as it can lead to tooth and bone loss. Recent studies seem to indicate that as gum disease gets worse, your chances of developing even more serious health concerns like breast cancer also increases.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This stage is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily during brushing and flossing. At this point, our Los Angeles periodontist will still be able to reverse the process through treatment. If allowed to progress, though, gum disease develops into periodontitis. At this point, the gums start to separate from the bone and form periodontal pockets, bone loss occurs, teeth loosen, and tooth loss can even occur. The tooth loss comes as the disease progresses, but this escalation does not only affect the mouth.
Recent research has indicated that inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body. If this inflammation affects the breast tissues, it may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. It is also thought that the bacteria that are developed in the mouth during gum disease can enter the bloodstream and affect the breast tissues in that way as well.
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