Can Your Mouth Cause Cancer? The Relationship Between Your Mouth and Various Cancers

According to research by the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry (https://dental.nyu.edu/) and the NYU School of Medicine (https://med.nyu.edu/), high levels of bacteria in the mouth associated with disease were identified in people with precancerous lesions that could precede stomach cancer. This new evidence “reinforces earlier findings that poor oral health is associated with an increased risk of precancerous lesions of stomach cancer.”

Oral Bacteria Linked With Stomach Cancer

The American Cancer Society estimated that 26,370 new cases of stomach or gastric cancer would be diagnosed in 2016, resulting in 10,703 deaths. Accumulating evidence suggests that chronic inflammation caused by oral bacterial infections may contribute to the development and progression of various types of cancer, including stomach cancer.

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Our Mouth: The Gateway to Overall Health

Most of us are now aware of the link between oral health and heart disease, but continued studies of oral pathogens are also revealing common links to numerous cancers. Risk factors such as smoking and diets high in salt and preserved foods have been proven to contribute to the progression of stomach cancer. Additionally, there are many new cases unrelated to these risk factors diagnosed each year. “Scientists have hypothesized that a group of pathogens may be responsible for causing periodontal disease and the resulting chronic, systemic inflammation may contribute to the development of gastric cancer.”

Dr. Reisman and Dr. Contrucci of C R Dental Group located in Dallas, Texas urge patients to brush and floss regularly and to visit your dentist at least twice a year. And, when recommended, have more frequent dental cleanings when chronic periodontal disease is prevalent. Early identification and proper treatment is key to achieving and maintaining, not only good oral health, but overall health, as well.