Can Gum Disease Cause Breast Cancer?
A recent study in Sweden, evaluating over 3,000 women, showed those who had gum disease and tooth loss had a greater risk of developing breast cancer – over 11 times more likely. Gum disease has been associated with other illnesses as well, such as heart disease, stroke, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, and low-birth weight and premature babies.
Breast Cancer Treatments and Dental Hygiene
Complications that affect the mouth can develop in more than one-third of patients being treated for breast cancer. Side effects of treatment can include inflammation of the mouth (mucositis), infections, taste changes, dry mouth, mouth sores, tooth decay and gum disease.
Before beginning cancer treatment:
- Schedule a dental cleaning and exam at least one month prior to treatment.
- Discuss dental procedures, such as tooth extraction or implants.
- Update medical history to include cancer diagnosis and treatment.
To maintain good oral hygiene during treatment:
- Brush teeth and tongue after each meal and at bedtime.
- Floss gently once a day to remove plaque.
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Rinse often with water to help keep your mouth moist.
Dental hygiene for patients receiving treatments for cancer is not much different from those without cancer; however, it can be more important due to the effects that cancer treatments can have on the mouth. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a regular exam and cleaning schedule and be sure to let Dr. Buran know immediately if there are any changes or problems that are noticed with the teeth and gums.
If you have questions about about gum disease and cancer, call the office David K. Buran Dentistry today. We are your family friendly dentist team that has been serving the Powder Springs area for 25 years! Call today to schedule your appointment!