The Link Between Breast Cancer and Gum Disease (Periodontitis) - Semidey Dental

The Link Between Breast Cancer and Gum Disease (Periodontitis)


Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

While it is primarily associated with oral health, recent research has unveiled a surprising connection between gum disease and breast cancer. In this article, we’ll break down the scientific findings and explain them in plain english!

I. Understanding Gum Disease

  • Gum disease is an infection that affects the tissues supporting your teeth.
  • It typically starts with gingivitis, causing symptoms like bleeding gums and bad breath.
  • If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss due to severe inflammation which spreads throughout the body.

II. The Breast Cancer Link

  • Research published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention in 2017 found a potential association between gum disease and breast cancer.
  • The study involved over 73,000 postmenopausal women and observed a 14% higher risk of breast cancer in those with a history of gum disease.
  • While this doesn’t prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship, it suggests a noteworthy connection.

III. Potential Explanations

  • Inflammation: Gum disease is characterized by chronic inflammation in the mouth. Inflammation is a known factor in cancer development, including breast cancer.
  • Bacteria: The harmful bacteria in the mouth associated with gum disease find their way into the bloodstream, potentially affecting other parts of the body, including the breast tissue.
  • Immune system: Gum disease may weaken the body’s immune system, making it less effective at fighting off cancer cells.

IV. The Importance of Good Oral Health

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial in preventing gum disease. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups are essential.
  • A healthy diet and lifestyle can also contribute to overall oral health.
  • By taking care of your gums, you may reduce your risk of not only dental problems but also other health issues.

V. What You Can Do

  • Practice good oral hygiene habits:
    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time.
    • Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque between teeth.
    • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
  • Be aware of your family’s health history, as genetics can play a role in both gum disease and breast cancer risk.
  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support your overall health.

VI. Conclusion

  • While the link between gum disease and breast cancer is still being explored, it highlights the importance of maintaining good oral health.
  • Remember that good habits like brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist can go a long way in reducing your risk of gum disease.
  • Taking care of your gums is not only essential for a beautiful smile but also for your overall well-being.

In summary, gum disease may have a connection to breast cancer, as suggested by scientific research. Although the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood, it’s a reminder of the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene. By taking care of your gums, you can contribute to your overall health and potentially reduce your risk of not only gum disease but also other health issues, including breast cancer. So, don’t forget to brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly – your smile and your health depend on it. Keep smiling!


Of the US adult population has gum disease


Have severe periodontal disease


Higher risk of developing breast cancer


New cases of breast cancer diagnosed last year

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