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Link found between unhealthy gums and cancer in older women

  • Sophie Angwin examines the latest research that shows gum disease could put older women at significantly higher risk of developing a number of cancers.

    By Sophie Angwin

The research was published in the journal of ‘Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention’ and looked at data from 65,000 post-menopausal women between the ages of 54 and 86. It was found that women with a history of gum disease were 14% more likely to develop cancer.

The review of the data demonstrated that of the women that developed cancer, one in three developed breast cancer and there was also a highly-increased risk of lung cancer, oesophageal, gall bladder and skin cancers.

One of the leading dental charities, the Oral Health Foundation, has responded to this research with strict encouragement for women to focus on their oral hygiene to ensure they have healthy gums.

Royds Withy King have blogged about a number of high profile studies in the past, which has found a link between gum disease and other systemic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes and it seems more than ever that there is good reason to maintain the health of your gums.

Why is oral hygiene advice important?

Plenty of people do not gauge the importance of their oral hygiene and can be diagnosed with periodontal disease (gum disease) and/or deep caries (decay) and cavities that need restorative treatment. In some cases, by the time the patient is notified of their gum disease, it is too late and they will inevitably lose teeth. In other cases, the patient was told of problems but didn’t receive adequate treatment or management afterwards causing a deterioration in their condition.

It is vital that dentists give patients adequate oral hygiene advice at the right time to avoid later problems, and if they do not then this can be negligent in some circumstances.
If you or your family have concerns about whether you have been given appropriate dental treatment, seek advice from your dentist or another dental professional.

It is also beneficial to obtain advice from a specialist dental negligence lawyer, such as those in our Dental Negligence Team specialising in such cases. We will be able to investigate your treatment and advise you on whether treatment has been negligent and whether you are entitled to claim compensation as a result for injuries suffered.

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