Study says regular dentist checkups to prevent gum disease can also prevent cancer

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – New research says getting to the dentist may be more important than you think.

Seeing a dentist ranks in the top fears that people have when it comes to healthcare, but now this study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says getting regular checkups may help prevent gum disease, which the study says has a connection to cancer.

Researchers examining the dental exams of 7,500 adults found that those who had gum disease not only had more cancers, they had more deaths from cancer in a 15-year follow-up.

Patients with severe gum disease had a 24 percent higher risk of developing cancer. Lung cancer risk was doubled and colon cancer risk was also elevated.

Gum disease comes from a bacterial infection, so researchers now suggest further studies need to be done to see if there may be a way to lower cancer risks with proper gum disease treatment.

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