Postmenopausal Women with Gum Disease Seem to Have Higher Breast Cancer Risk

fight-Gum-Disease-reduce-Breast-Cancer

Research suggests that postmenopausal women with gum disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than postmenopausal women who don’t have gum disease. Why? Let’s discuss how we can fight gum disease reduce breast cancer risk.

If a woman has a history of smoking, the risk of breast cancer may be even higher

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can range from simple inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, to periodontitis, when the gums pull away from the teeth leaving open spaces that become infected. The bacteria causing the infection and the body’s response to the infection can break down the bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place. If periodontitis isn’t treated, the teeth may become loose and must be removed.

Gum disease can be prevented by regular tooth brushing and flossing.

Gum disease has been associated with several other diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Past research has found links between gum disease and oral, esophageal, head and neck, pancreatic, and lung cancer

So … are there any links between gum disease and breast cancer?

A study has found that postmenopausal women with gum disease were more likely to develop breast cancer than postmenopausal women who didn’t have gum disease.

If the women had a history of smoking, the risk of breast cancer was even higher.

The study was published online on Dec. 21, 2015 by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Read the abstract of “Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer: Prospective Cohort Study of Postmenopausal Women.” The research is part of the very large Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, commonly called the WHI. The WHI is looking for links between health, diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors and health problems, such as cancer.

In this study:

  • the researchers monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women in the WHI who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • About 26% of the women told the researchers they had gum disease.
  • After about 6.5 years, 2,124 women had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Overall, the risk of breast cancer was 14% higher in women who had gum disease compared to women who didn’t have gum disease.
  • So, if average breast cancer risk is about 12%, a woman with gum disease had about a 13.5% risk of breast cancer.

“We thought that periodontal bacteria — either the bacteria themselves or the inflammation that’s part of having periodontal disease — has an effect on other parts of the body, including breast tissue. We know there are bacteria in breast tissue, and we know there are bacteria in mother’s milk. Women who had periodontal disease had a small increase in the risk of breast cancer overall,”

said Jo Freudenheim, Ph.D., distinguished professor of epidemiology and environmental health at the University of Buffalo and lead author of the study.

Does Smoking Have an Effect?

Because earlier studies have shown that the effects of gum disease can be more severe if a person smokes, the researchers also grouped the women by smoking history:

  • Among women who had quit smoking within the last 20 years, women with gum disease had a 36% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.
  • Among women who had never smoked, women with gum disease had a 6% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.
  • Among women who had quit smoking more than 20 years ago, women with gum disease had an 8% higher risk of breast cancer than women who didn’t have gum disease.

“There’s been an explosion of information recently that makes it clear that many different parts of the body that were thought to be sterile contain bacteria and other microbes,” Dr. Freudenheim said. “These bacteria may influence diseases that were previously thought to have no infectious component.”

Gum Disease and Breast Cancer

The researchers said there are several possible reasons for the association between gum disease and breast cancer:

Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream through tooth brushing, flossing, and chewing. Even though the bacteria are cleared out of the body quickly, the cumulative exposure to tissues can be considerable. It could be that these bacteria affect breast cancer.

Inflammation in one part of the body, such as the gums, may have an impact on other diseases.

Other Factors Increase the Risk

There may be other factors that increase the risk of both gum disease and breast cancer.

“This is a new area, so we have to be careful in how we interpret our findings,” said Dr. Freudenheim. “We can’t say, ‘if you treat periodontal disease it will reduce cancer risk.’ There are new methodologies that allow us to measure things we weren’t able to before. We are now beginning to understand how much the interaction of the microbiome affects our health both in terms of acute infections and chronic diseases.”

Decrease Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Now that you know we can fight gum disease reduce breast cancer risk. Doing all that you can do to keep your breast cancer risk as low as it can be makes good sense.

Here are steps you can take to control several risk factors:

  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • not smoking
  • avoiding alcohol
  • taking good care of your teeth and gums

Decrease Your Risk for Gum Disease

Decreasing your risk is important and now we know we can fight gum disease reduce breast cancer risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control, gum disease can be kept in check by:

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth every day to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease
  • Seeing a dentist at least once a year for a checkup, or more frequently if you have any of the warning signs of gum disease:
    • red/swollen gums
    • tender/bleeding gums
    • loose teeth
    • bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go way
    • gums that have pulled away from your teeth
    • sensitive teeth

Learn more: Healthy Gums and Mouths Don’t Develop Gum Disease

Making a Difference One Dental Exam at a Time

Now you understand why keeping your gums healthy is such an important task – fight gum disease reduce breast cancer risk! AND you know what to do to help keep you and your smile in the best possible health and avoid Gum Disease. Why almost half of Americans suffer some form of gum disease, why wait??

Regular dental exams and cleaning is wonderful preventative care. Although you may be brushing and flossing really well at home, tartar and plaque is impossible to remove with regular brushing and flossing, and can build-up over time. Dentists are able to use specific tools to remove that plaque and tartar, keeping our mouth cleaner and our chances of other complications much lower.

At Premier Dental, we take your oral health seriously and want to help you avoid gum disease by checking your oral health and every scheduled cleaning. We are also happy to answer any gum disease questions you have. Take the time to be extra diligent in your normal oral health routine to reduce your risk for gum disease.

If you have questions or concerns about your gum health, please give us a call, Dr. Caye and his experienced team at Premier Dental in Lee’s Summit will be happy to schedule your dental appointment and help you keep your gums, teeth and mouth healthy. Please call our office at 816-600-6330 to schedule your dental appointment.

Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and invisible braces in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including tooth replacement options, such as dental implants and dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistryemergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.

The information in this blog has been provided by Breastcancer.org. For more information on breast cancer risk and other steps you can take to minimize your risk, visit the Breastcancer.org Lower Your Risk section.

healthy-gums

Gum Disease: What You Need to Know

You may not have heard of Periodontal Disease, if you visit your dentist regularly and you haven’t – that’s probably a good sign that you have healthy gums! Poor dental hygiene can lead to problems that are more severe than the average cavity or case of bad breath. Periodontal Disease is also known as Gum Disease and almost 50% of adults have some form it. Gum disease is most commonly the result of poor dental hygiene and is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, according to www.medicinenet.com. Here’s the scary part – if left untreated, it can lead to even more serious problems, ranging from tooth loss to heart disease. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment for various stages of gum disease can set you on a proactive path to avoiding a disappointing dental visit.

Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? If so, you can assume your gums are sick. Symptoms are key … if you are experiencing ANY gum bleeding, notice any gum pain or mouth sores, and/or pick up on a sour taste in your mouth, do not hesitate – it’s time to schedule a visit to your dentist! Remember, you can reverse the early stages of Gum Disease, but the only way to keep Gingivitis from progressing into Periodontal Disease and other problems is dental treatment.

Someone with gum disease may have the following symptoms/signs:

  • White spots on the gums
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth or receding gums
  • Painful to chew
  • Sensitive teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bright red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that bleed easily – even during normal daily cleaning
  • You may have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
  • Uneven bite
  • Ill-fitting dentures

If you are unsure if your symptoms are caused by gum disease, consult your dentist for clarification and make sure to stay on top of regular scheduled professional dental cleanings to reduce your risks.

Related Article: The Dangers of Gum Disease

Stages of Gum Disease

  • Early Stage: Gingivitis – this early stage of gum disease is characterized by the inflammation of the gums and is usually caused by an abundance of tartar or plaque in the mouth. Often, swollen gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing and this beginning stage of the disease is a warning sign to a more serious condition, Periodontitis.
  • Progressed Stage: Periodontitis – If Gingivitis progresses, plaque will extend from the gums to the bone. Once the bone gets the infection, they can form deep gum pockets and collect even more bacteria and plaque and can lead to bone loss or even tooth loss. However, there are different forms of Periodontitis and it is more serious than it may seem at first.
    • Aggressive Periodontitis:
      • rapid gum recession
      • occurring during a period of growth in young people
      • due to vitamin depletion, not bacteria
    • Chronic Periodontitis: 
      • periods of rapid progression and then periods of remission
      • can happen on its own or in response to dental treatment

Periodontal disease starts with a sticky film of plaque bacteria that forms on your teeth, just like tooth decay (when you’re getting a cavity). If plaque is not removed, it will collect around your gum line and they’ll become inflamed and irritated. This early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. The good news is that it can be reversed easily with consistent and thorough brushing and flossing.

However, if it is not removed regularly, this plaque will harden into tartar. Your gums become increasingly red, swollen, and inflamed as tartar builds up around the gum line and they will eventually pull away from the tooth, forming a loose pocket. As more bacteria and tarter accumulate in these “pockets”, the destructive toxins begin to infect and destroy the gums, bone and ligaments that support your teeth. This advanced phase of Gum Disease is called Periodontitis, or Periodontal Disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, because the gums can no longer hold your teeth in place.

Tooth Loss Statistics

Here are a few staggering statistics we’d like to share with you:

  • Missing 1 tooth: the average person age 20-39
  • Missing 3+ teeth: the average 40-49-year old
  • Missing 8 teeth: the average 60+ person

We know what you’re thinking … I had my 4 wisdom teeth pulled!! No wonder these numbers are so high!!

Bad News: These statistics do NOT include wisdom teeth that have been removed AND this tooth loss is typically caused by gum disease.

Related Article: Dentures vs Dental Implants: Everything You Need to Know

Gum Disease: Prevention Methods and Treatment

Gum disease is extremely common among adults, but the good news is that it can be easily prevented with good, daily dental care. Hygiene within your mouth is linked to your overall wellbeing, so the importance of preventing gum disease is high. By simply brushing and flossing daily, as well as getting regular professional cleanings from your dentist are all it takes to heavily reduce your risk for gum disease and maintain healthy gums.

However, if gum disease is found, usually the treatment method is simple and your dentist will usually recommend upping your normal hygiene routine at home; making sure you are following the recommended daily guidelines. If Periodontitis is found, a deeper cleaning may be needed to remove the high levels of plaque and bacteria that has infiltrated your gums and bone. This treatment is often called Scaling or Root Planing.

Related Article: Gum Disease Treatments by WebMD

Gum Disease Can Affect More Than Your Smile

Cosmetic: It’s a well-known fact that people with a healthy smile tend to look younger. However, Periodontitis affects much more than the aesthetic look of your pearly white smile and is important for more than cosmetic reasons.

Function: It’s also easy to understand that it’s easier to talk and chew when your teeth are functional and it’s less costly to keep all of your own teeth.

Overall Health: Gum disease is also a systemic disease that is related to the body’s reaction to bacteria that can have far-reaching effects on your overall health. By completely avoiding periodontal disease or treating it, you’re helping to protect your body from other systemic inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. As well as, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer.

Gum Disease and Stress: You may think about stress being a factor behind many health problems, but the truth is, stress can also have a negative effect on your oral health as well. Stress can make it harder for our bodies to fight viruses and other harmful bacteria in the body, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. This means that if you’re dealing with gum disease, your body will have a harder time dealing with it and healing.

Teeth grinding, gum disease, and bruxism can all be results from too much stress in your life. Also, if stress is causing you to grind your teeth, smoke cigarettes, or clench your jaw, then it could contribute to gum disease as well. Stress can also make us forget to brush and floss as often as needed, so remember to stay on top of your oral health and self-care routines at home.

Related Article: Dental Awareness: Is My Overall Health Really Tied to My Oral Health?

What do Healthy Gums Look Like?

Healthy gums are pink, firm, and they do not bleed.

Keeping your gums firm, pink and healthy isn’t difficult, but it does require consistent healthy oral care habits. Your main focus is to always keep the harmful oral bacteria to a minimum!

Daily Tips & Tricks for Healthy Gums:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush thoroughly at least twice a day.
  • Replace toothbrushes every 3 months; frayed bristles don’t clean as well (and old toothbrushes can store bacteria).
  • Flossing once a day is a must.
  • Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Fight dry mouth by sipping water throughout the day, chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless lozenges. Dry mouth creates an environment where bacteria can thrive. Numerous medications and certain illnesses can cause dry mouth.
  • Schedule routine dental appointments every 6 months that include a professional cleaning.
  • Stop Smoking! Tobacco, of any kind, increases the risk of gum disease and makes it harder for gums to heal.
  • DO NOT VAPE! Vaping is not an alternative, even if you’re not using nicotine.
  • If you are Diabetic, you need to be diligent about keeping your diabetes under control, since high sugar levels can increase your risk for gum disease.
  • Opt for healthy snacks. Healthy foods can help lower the risk of gum disease. Bacteria love sugar, so as an alternative, consume water, milk, yogurts, apples, and other healthy options.

If you have children, take this opportunity to review their dental care routines and emphasize the importance of daily tooth care. A clean mouth, with healthy gums, can´t get sick!

Related Article: Children’s Dental Health is Important at Premier Dental

When almost half of Americans suffer some form of gum disease, why wait?

Now you understand why keeping your healthy gums is such an important task – they keep your teeth in place! AND you know what to do to help keep you and your smile in the best possible health and avoid Gum Disease.

At Premier Dental, we take your oral health seriously and want to help you avoid gum disease by checking your oral health and every scheduled cleaning. We are also happy to answer any gum disease questions you have. Take the time to be extra diligent in your normal oral health routine to reduce your risk for gum disease.

If you have questions or concerns about your gum health, please give us a call, Dr. Caye and his experienced team at Premier Dental in Lee’s Summit will be happy to schedule your dental appointment and help you keep your gums, teeth and mouth healthy. Please call our office at 816-600-6330 to schedule your dental appointment.

Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and invisible braces in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including tooth replacement options, such as dental implants and dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistryemergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.

halloween-candy

October can be a spooky season, but we want to help you not scare people away with bad oral hygiene! During this month, we’re sure that lots of Halloween candy is going to be haunting to you and your children. We’re all about indulging, but our team at Premier Dental in Lee’s Summit want to make sure your also having a HEALTHY Halloween.

Here are some tips to keep your oral hygiene healthy this Halloween.

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maskmouth

 

Oral care is more essential than ever. While wearing face coverings that are to protect us from diseases and are recommended by the CDC, dentists are seeing a rise in gum disease from “mask mouth.”

Mask Mouth refers to a range of symptoms associated with wearing a face mask. The main symptom being bad breath, or halitosis. While bad breath may seem annoying and temporary, it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right. It’s important to pay attention to any warning signs or symptoms of mask mouth and take action to prevent it!

Let’s look into some helpful, preventative measures for mask mouth.

The truth behind mask mouth:

Symptoms of Mask Mouth

Bad Breath: 

One of the most common signs of mask mouth is bad breath. If you’re breathing through your mouth while wearing a mask, you’re drying out your mouth and causing bad breath. This can also cause dry lips.

Dry Mouth:

Saliva is such a great tool that our body already produces to help keep the germs out of our mouth, so when our mouth becomes dry and we lose saliva production, we build bad-breath bacteria in the mouth.

Less saliva in the mouth also means we are more prone to tooth decay and infections.  When we are wearing our mask often and experience dry mouth, we’re advancing or progressing tooth decay.

Bad breath is often a sign that something isn’t quite right. When we wear our masks, we may breathe through our mouths more and dry out our mouths. While this may not seem like an issue, when we dry out our mouths, we leave them more susceptible to bacteria growth. When bacteria grow in our mouth, we can experience things like cavities and gum disease. Saliva is a huge multitasker in our mouths and it constantly keeps bacteria at bay. When we lose saliva production, we lose our biggest bacteria fighter.

The new oral hygiene issue — caused by, you guessed it, wearing a mask all the time to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — is leading to all kinds of dental disasters like decaying teeth, receding gum lines and seriously sour breath. Learn More about the stinky side effects of Mask Mouth HERE.

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gum-care-month

Dr. Caye and his team at Premier Dental join dental practices and professionals around the country each September in celebration of National Gum Care Month. Why is gum care so important? Let’s dive in and find out!!

You may not have heard of Periodontal Disease, if you visit your dentist regularly and you haven’t – that’s probably a good sign! Periodontal Disease is also known as Gum Disease and almost 50% of adults have some form it. Here’s the scary part – if left untreated, it can lead to even more serious problems, ranging from tooth loss to heart disease.

Yes … that’s why Gum Care Month is SO IMORTANT!! However, Gum Disease can be prevented!

There are several preventative actions you can take to help avoid the onset of gum disease. We want you to be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs so, we’ve gathered some interesting information and statistics for you as well.

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dental-health-for-men

Beards, manscaping, hair gel, man caves, and self-grooming galore! In today’s world, men are taking charge of their aesthetic and their health, and dental health should be no different … that’s why we’re tackling dental health for men in this article.

Good dental health for men equals good overall health, as all parts of the body are interconnected. In fact, men are more commonly dealing with gum disease than women, making oral health even more important.

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lees-summit-dentist

Dear Premier Dental Family,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines, including routine dental appointments.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

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We’re SMILING because February is National Childrens Dental Health Month and we LOVE our Little Patients!! When you have small kiddos, like we do, it can be overwhelming to make sure you’re doing “all the things” to keep these tiny humans healthy and happy! To take some of the guess work out of this subject, we’re going to focus this blog on some questions about childrens dental health that we, as dental professionals AND parents, can answer.

First, let’s explain what National Childrens Dental Health Month is … it was introduced in the month of February by the American Dental Association as an observance to bring together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their parents, caregivers, teachers and many others.

For us, it’s a great opportunity to promote the benefits of childrens dental health, because developing healthy dental habits at an early age, including brushing and scheduling regular dental visits, helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

We want our patients to have beautiful, healthy smiles and we love to help educate families about their dental health, so let’s get started!

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can-eating-disorders-hurt-my-teetht-my-teeth

 

Eating Disorders Can Cause Dental Problems

The body is all interconnected. When something is wrong in one area, other areas can also be greatly affected. Eating disorders are an example of this phenomenon within the body.

Related Article: Oral Health Problems and Overall Health: How Connected Are They?

When you experience an eating disorder, other parts of your body, such as your teeth and gums, may be affected in a way you never thought possible. For example, eating behaviors can affect your oral health in many ways, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Soft palate damage
  • Tissue/enamel loss
  • Redness and cuts inside the mouth
  • Discoloration
  • And more

See more information HERE regarding signs, symptoms, side effects and dental problems caused by bulimia from EatingDisorderHope.com.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: Don’t Be A Statistic 

Your Dentist Can Help

According to Eating Disorder Hope, “dentists are recognized as being some of the first health care professionals to whom a previously undiagnosed eating disorder patient (EDP) may present.”

Read more on the resources provided by Eating Disorder Hope HERE.

Dentists can be essential in identifying the first signs of an eating disorder. Without identifying dental issues, someone could live with an eating disorder for years without any help. If your dentist asks you about your signs or symptoms, consider being honest and open with them to take the first step toward recovery and improved oral health.

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Ghosts, goblins, hauntings, and scary sightings. Halloween is a day where adults and kids alike can forget about being themselves for a day and transform into something, or someone, else. Whether you have plans to dress up as someone frightening or adorable, be aware of the effects certain candies and treats can have on you, or your kids, teeth. Make the most out of Halloween by having a few treats, without overindulging, and keep tooth decay at bay.

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