The Connection Between Dental Hygiene and Cancer

Did you know that dental health is strongly linked to cancer? We are seeing that 80-90% of cancers in the body are related to an underlying infection in the mouth. That’s huge! Unfortunately, most people have underlying infections of some kind without even realizing it. Many studies have shown that periodontal pockets may act as reservoirs for human papillomavirus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus, and suspected agents associated with oral cancer. Periodontitis leads to a chronic release of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, prostaglandins, and enzymes, all of which are associated with cancer development in the body.

We know that inflammation is the root of most diseases. When it comes to lingering oral infections, the body’s immune system is fighting a daily battle to keep these infections from taking over the body. With this "distraction" the immune system doesn’t have the capacity to fight off other pathogens or illnesses, paving the way for cancer to take root. Dr. Roney, DC and I discuss this connection between oral hygiene and cancer in our latest Youtube video linked here. Be sure to watch for a more in-depth conversation on this topic and learn how you can identify underlying infections, treat these infections, and maintain good oral health. Your Partner in Health, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy