Good Dental Habits Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer
October 28, 2016
October 28, 2016
Everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What you might not know is that there’s a significant link between your dental health and breast cancer, which affects 1 in 8 women American women. Poor dental health is not only linked to heart disease and diabetes — Studies show that women who have gum disease or missing teeth are 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. So good dental habits can improve your dental health and overall health, as well as reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Preventing gum disease is a daily effort. Even if you do everything right, there is still a chance you’ll get gum disease and still a chance you’ll be diagnosed with breast cancer. But if you follow your dentist’s advice and some simple tips, you can help reduce the risk for both.
Even if you follow our tips to reduce risk, genetics, pure chance and other lifestyle choices can still cause gum disease. It’s best to be aware of the warning signs of gum disease so that you can visit your dentist as soon as you notice something. When it comes to gum disease and detecting cancer in your body, early recognition is critical.
Flora Stay, DDS, writes: The first sign of gum disease is inflammation. You’ll know when this is present as your gums appear slightly red, tender, and may even bleed when you brush or floss. The main cause of inflammation is bacteria that form a film called plaque, and stick to the gum and teeth surfaces. If this plaque is not removed at least once per day, the problem can advance to severe gum disease. As inflammation advances, the disease effects destruction of the gums and eventually bone. The teeth develop tooth decay, become loose and may have to be extracted. This is why dental visits are very important at least every three months to monitor the health and condition of your teeth and gums, especially with the presence of cancer.
It’s recommend you have a dental checkup one month prior to starting treatment so that you can discuss your oral health with the person who knows your mouth best — your dentist. For women who are already undergoing treatment, we’ve provided some helpful tips for maintaining your oral health. But always remember to consult your dentist and doctor before trusting any advice you read on the Internet!
Summit Dental Health is a part of Mortenson Dental Partners.
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