New research has found that post-menopausal women with gum disease are at a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
The study found that those with periodontal disease were 14% more likely to be diagnosed with the disease.
It’s long been known that the condition of your gums can lead to health problems elsewhere in the body and researchers believe this link could be a result of systemic inflammation which may enter the circulatory system, affecting breast tissue.
Although more research is needed to identify the link, it’s important to be aware of gum disease.
The initial signs are bleeding gums (either when brushing or eating) and chronic bad breath. As well as having an effect on the rest of the body, gum disease can cause your teeth to become weak and fall out, or you may need to have them removed.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said:
“The health risks associated with gum disease are definitely not limited to the mouth, there is clear evidence that it can lead to some extremely serious health problems.
This problem is made even worse due to the prevalence of gum disease; it is estimated that it affects half of all adults in the UK and up to 15% of adults are estimated to have severe periodontitis.
The best way to cut your risk of gum disease is to ensure that you have an effective oral health routine; this should involve brushing your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste.”
If you are worried you are suffering from gum disease, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.