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Can Dental Hygiene Have an Impact on Lung Cancer?


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Can Dental Hygiene Have an Impact on Lung Cancer?

We are learning more and more about chronic inflammation, and how it may lead to the development of cancer. This can be seen directly in some cancers in which cancer develops from local inflammation. Examples include HPV leading to cervical cancer and chronic esophageal reflux leading to esophageal cancer. But inflammation in one region of the body may also lead to the development of cancer in another region of the body.

There is now evidence that periodontal disease is associated with cancers of the lung, kidney, pancreas, head and neck, as well as leukemia and lymphomas.

Why? How could inflammation in the mouth lead to cancer at distant sites, such as lung cancer or kidney cancer?

Periodontal disease creates inflammation that doesn't stop in the mouth; instead the inflammation results in an increased concentration of inflammatory markers throughout the body. An increased concentration of these inflammatory markers is in turn linked with an increased risk of several types of cancer.

What can you do to lower your risk, or what about if you already have cancer?

Make regular appointments with your dentist.

Brush and floss regularly.

Before beginning chemotherapy it's a good time to talk to your dentist; due to a low white count or platelet count your oncologist may recommend avoiding flossing and using a gentle toothbrush during treatment.



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