Everybody knows cleaning their teeth prevents cavities, gum disease and early tooth loss, but it is only recently that scientists have discovered a connection between poor oral health and cancer.
The connection is due to inadequate brushing and flossing which allows infectious bacteria to build up in the mouth. This prompts an inflammatory response from the body and in the case of gum disease, leads to bleeding gums. These open wounds allow the bacteria to enter the body where their presence has already been linked to other serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
One study has linked severe gum disease to an increased risk of developing head and neck cancers. Much more research is needed to determine the exact link between poor dental hygiene and cancer, although some studies have suggested that inadequate oral hygiene could considerably increase the risk of dying early from cancer.
In the meantime, it is critical to look after your teeth and gums by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once-a-day. Regular check-ups enable our dentist to closely monitor your dental health so any small signs of dental problems can be treated before they can negatively impact your general health. Hygiene appointments will help you maintain healthy gums and you can gain practical advice on caring for your teeth at home.