The Link Between Periodontal Disease, Breast Cancer, and Kidney Disease Death

The Link Between Periodontal Disease, Breast Cancer, and Kidney Disease Death

Periodontal disease is the progression of gum disease-the 6th most common human disease worldwide. The condition is known to be not just an oral issue, but also a threat to overall well-being.

floss for your healthIt is estimated, that 70% of the population over the age of 65 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. The condition has been linked to health issues such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and more.

Recently, a new threat was discovered. Periodontal disease can raise the risk of breast cancer in women by 14%. In the following article, Yvette Brazier explains the results of the medical study that proved there is a link between the two conditions:

“Postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Those with a history of smoking are particularly affected.

Women with periodontal disease have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Periodontal disease is a common condition that ranges from simple gum inflammation to a serious disease causing major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth, and loss of teeth.

It has also been associated with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as oral, esophageal, head and neck, pancreatic and lung cancers. Previous studies have suggested that chronic inflammation could provide the link.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include genetic predisposition, smoking and hormonal changes in girls and women, which can make gums more sensitive so that it is easier for gingivitis to develop.

People with reduced ability to fight infection due to diseases such as diabetes or treatment for cancer are also prone. Medications that limit the flow of saliva can also leave the mouth vulnerable to infections.

Regular brushing, flossing and cleaning by the dentist can help to prevent it.

Researchers led by Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, distinguished professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, NY, set out to investigate if there was any relationship with breast cancer.

The team monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. None of the women had previous breast cancer, but 26.1% of them had periodontal disease.”

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Gum conditions such as periodontal disease and gum disease have been also associated with kidney disease deaths, according to another recent study. It is proven for one more time that oral health issues do not only have to do with our teeth and gums.

In the following article, Catharine Paddock, writes about the  results of a study that links gum disease and chronic kidney disease deaths, as well as, the link between our mouths and bodies:

“The study – led by the University of Birmingham in the UK and published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology – provides further evidence of a link between oral health and chronic diseases, say the authors.

Senior author Lain Chapple, a professor in periodontology, says we should be aware that oral health is not just about teeth, and: ‘The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums.’

He and his colleagues analyzed data from 13,734 people living in the US who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

They found 861 (6%) of the participants in the sample had chronic kidney disease, and they were typically followed for 14.3 years.

The researchers then assessed links between periodontitis and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease and compared them with the link between mortality and other risk factors in people with chronic kidney disease, such as diabetes.

After adjusting for the effect of other potential influencing factors, the team found that over 10 years, the rate of death due to any cause among survey participants with chronic kidney disease without periodontitis was 32%, while with periodontitis it was 41%.”

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The connection between oral health and overall health is something that shouldn’t be overlooked neither by patients nor by medical professionals.

Although the link between dental conditions and chronic diseases may terrify us, it can also signify a major breakthrough on how diseases are treated. Could it be that just by taking care of our mouths and preventing dental issues, we can prevent chronic diseases, too?  Learn more at