Cancer’s Link to the Unhealthy Mouth

Jessica Rickert DDS,, Native News Network

WASHINGTON – The human mouth is home to millions of micro-organisms. These are not a problem in a healthy mouth, but where there is dental disease, these oral pathogens are extremely harmful.

Jessica Rickert DDS, health editor

Jessica Rickert DDS, Health Editor – Praire Band Potawatomi

A common malady is periodontal disease, where the gums deteriorate. The bad bacteria present in active gum disease can include FUSOBACTERIUM NUCEATUM (Fn). There may be millions of these harmful germs. As they are swallowed, they can settle in the digestive tract. Yiping Han PhD, at Case Western Reserve University, discovered recently that Fn can attach and invade human colorectal cells. The molecules then turn on cancer growth genes and stimulate inflammatory responses in these cells and promote tumor growth. But, whether this FadA adhesion is an indirect or causal link remains unclear.

The Human papillomavirus is present in many patients’ mouths. When the HPV is present, it can cause an increase in oropharyngeal cancers.

Both cancers, and all cancers, are increased when the patients smokes tobacco and/or uses alcohol. Both cancers’ incidence and aggressiveness will be worsened by tobacco and alcohol usage.

A dentist is trained to look for oropharyngeal cancers at every dental checkup. But, if a sore which will not heal in 10 – 14 days is noticed, immediately see your dentist. Often, these cancers of the mouth are completely without symptoms.

Sound advice is to keep your mouth as healthy as possible by:

  1. excellent oral hygiene;
  2. a diet without white sugar and low in carbohydrates;
  3. dental cleanings and checkups every 6 months.
  4. It is time to quit using these poisons: tobacco and alcohol.