November 30, 2016

Now that it is November, it is time to think about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Dentistry and pancreatic cancer have more in common than you think. In fact, studies have shown that those with gum disease may be more susceptible to developing pancreatic cancer. Learn about this link and how to recognize the symptoms of gum disease.

Understanding the Link
Gum disease is linked to several issues such as stroke and diabetes. More recently there have been studies showing an association of gum disease and pancreatic cancer. This is partially due to the fact that chronic gum inflammation is believed to help cancer cells grow. Certain bacteria that play a role in developing gum disease have been found to be more common in patients with pancreatic cancer. What can you do with this information? The answer is preventing and treating gum disease.

Gum Disease Symptoms
Roughly half of American adults have some type of gum disease. Familiarizing yourself with symptoms is the first thing you can do to prevent it from getting worse or causing further problems. Gum disease occurs in three main stages with the following signs:

  • Gingivitis – Swollen and red gums, receding gum line, and bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.
  • Periodontitis – More swelling and redness, tender gums, formation of periodontal pockets, pus between gums and teeth, bad taste in mouth, and loose teeth.
  • Advanced Periodontitis – Chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, severe recession, deepening periodontal pockets, misaligned teeth, increasingly loose teeth.

If you find that your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding at all, you may have gum disease. Not only is gum disease associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, but it can also lead to tooth loss and other serious complications. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Subka during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month to learn more about preventing and treating gum disease.



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