If your gums and teeth aren’t good shape, it could point to bigger health problems. A study undertaken by the Imperial College of London has found that gum disease might be a warning sign of an increased cancer risk even in non-smokers.The gum disease raises the risk of developing lung, kidney, blood and pancreatic cancers irrespective of whether a person is a smoker or a non-smoker.
According to lead researcher Dr.Dominique Michaud the persistent presence of gum disease might be a sign of weakness in the immune system which could allow cancer to develop, the Lancet Oncology Journal reported.
In their study the team analyzed the health records of 50,000 men and found that those with a history of gum disease had a 14 % higher chance of cancer compared with those with no history of gum disease.
There was a third increase in the risk of lung cancer, almost a 50 % rise in the chance of kidney cancer and similar rise in pancreatic cancer.Blood cell cancers such as leukaemia rose by 30% among men with gum disease. While there was no rise in lung cancer chances among those with gum disease who had never smoked, there was slightly higher risk in the over all risk of any cancer and a similar rise in blood cancer rate, the study found.
‘These findings might represent a commonality in the immune function and response to inflammation which results in susceptibility to both periodontal disease and haematological cancers’Dr.Michaud said.
According to researchers that it was also possible that long-lasting gum disease could trigger changes in the immune response which helped cancer thrive or that the bacteria from the gum could be directly causing the cancer in the tissues of mouth or throat when swallowed.