How Gum Infection is Linked to Cancer in Women

How Gum Infection is Linked to Cancer in Women

Posted by Dr. Thomas Flavin May 11,2022

This is a thumbnail image of blog How Gum Infection is Linked to Cancer in Women

Cancer is a disease that occurs when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. These cells can form tumors, which can then invade or spread to nearby parts of the body. Oral cancer refers to cancer that begins in the oral cavity. This includes the lips, gums, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses, hard and soft palate, and throat (oropharynx). Oral cancer often begins as leukoplakia, a condition caused by irritation to the soft tissues of the mouth. Leukoplakia can progress into oral cancer. Oral cancer can affect anyone, but it is more common in older adults, heavy drinkers, and tobacco users.

Gum Disease Linked to Cancer

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when the gums become infected and irritated due to bacteria and plaque buildup on the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth can irritate the gum tissue and lead to inflammation. When gingivitis develops, the bacteria can seep further into the tooth and threaten the bone and tissue beneath the gum line, which can lead to tooth loss and further complications throughout the body. For women, this can lead to an increased breast cancer risk.

Periodontitis is the more severe form of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. If periodontitis is not treated properly, it can lead to the deterioration of the bone and tissues that support the teeth. This can cause the teeth to become loose or fall out. While dentists recommend visiting the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup, it’s especially important for women to keep up with their dental visits if they have a history of mouth cancer in their family. This is because women are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer compared to men. Visiting the dentist regularly can ensure that any abnormal conditions of the soft tissues are detected early so they can be addressed and treated before they worsen.

In addition to checking for the presence of bacterial buildup, a dentist can also conduct an exam to check the health of the mouth. This includes the condition of any fillings and restorations, as well as checking the overall health of the teeth and gums. It’s also important to note that if a woman smokes, she is at a higher risk of periodontal disease compared to others. Smoking also increases the risk of other oral health issues such as bad breath, yellowed teeth, and an increased risk of developing oral cancer.

If your dentist notices something unusual during a routine exam, they may take X-rays to check for signs of bone loss or other potential issues. A dentist may recommend deep cleanings or further treatment, such as medication to treat an underlying cause. Some oral medications that can be used to treat gum disease include antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwashes.

How To Prevent Gum Disease?

Practicing good oral hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily will help to remove plaque from your mouth. Plaque is a sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth and contains bacteria that can cause inflammation of the gums.

Other ways to maintain proper oral health include visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups and professional teeth cleaning by an expert dental hygienist twice each year. Be sure to inform your hygienist of any changes in your health or medications since they may be linked to an increase in your risk of gum disease.

Regular visits to the dentist can also help prevent oral cancer by making early detection possible. If you are concerned that you may be at risk of oral cancer, discuss your concerns with your dentist right away. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing the development of this serious disease.

To learn more, contact Healthy Smiles of Saint Louis at 4224 Watson Rd, St. Louis, MO 63109, or call (314) 832-1366. 

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.

Patient Info

Save time by completing your new patient forms and sending them to us online or bring them with you to your first visit.

Office Hours

  • MON - THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • FRI - SUNClosed