Thursday, March 11, 2010

Could gum disease pave the way to cancer?

For years now, the medical community has known about the strong influence that oral disease can have on the rest of your body. I’d venture to guess that many people still don’t quite realize how vital healthy teeth and gums really are. That’s why one recent study grabbed my attention immediately: Not only does it further demonstrate this important connection, but it shows that the consequences of periodontitis (gum disease) could in fact be far more severe than you may ever have imagined.

In this study, researchers from SUNY Buffalo examined the gum health of 266 patients who were diagnosed with and received treatment for cancer of the head and neck in the past ten years, along with 207 controls.
The doctors determined the presence of gum disease by measuring each patient’s amount of alveolar bone loss—that is, the bone that comprises the tooth socket—as visible through x-ray. Results showed that for each millimeter of alveolar bone lost, the subjects’ risk of head and neck cancer was a shocking four times higher. What’s worse, the link was found to be independent of high-risk lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use or alcohol.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time oral health has been linked to a deadly condition. The relationship between the health of the teeth and the gums and heart disease, for example, is well documented. Infectious agents can penetrate via the gums and affect the heart. This is why individuals with heart valve diseases have to take prophylactic antibiotics. Recent data also suggests a strong correlation between cardiovascular diseases and periodontal disease. The study concluded that "substantial evidence supports an association between chronic infections/inflammation, and cancer."

One good way to prevent gum disease is simply to improve your dental health. This means good diet (stay away from those sweets, and of course, soft drinks), and thorough brushing and flossing. You will be surprised how quickly gum and root inflammation can be reversed with such simple methods in conjunction with herbal washes and other natural strategies.

One published peer-reviewed study did demonstrate the ability of a Tibetan Based botanical formula, Padma Basic, to substantially reduce inflammation of the root, (pulpitis).

How can a simple herbal formula at low dosages have such a profound effect? It is due to its well-researched ability to regulate inflammation, support circulation, and strengthen the immune system—all critical properties that have been documented in numerous published studies. If you’d like to learn more about this novel supplement, I invite you to download my report on the subject—which focuses on its critical role in heart health—here. As always, this information is absolutely free and I invite you to share it with anyone you know who’s struggling with inflammation and gum disease.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, September 2009. 

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