A Link Between Gum Disease and Breast Cancer in Ankeny

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Erika Peddicord, your Ankeny dentist, wants to show her support for the campaign by highlighting the relationship between oral health and breast cancer.

Breast Cancer and Gum Disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) studied the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer from 1985 to 2001. Of the 3273 subjects between age 30 and 40, there was a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer in patients that were missing molars as a result of chronic periodontal disease.

Statistics can be confusing, but here’s a simple one to wrap your mind around: nearly 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease. Suppose that gum disease does link to breast cancer. Wouldn’t keeping your oral health in order be a simple preventive measure as easy as taking vitamins, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular checkups with your general physician? There are no guarantees against getting cancer, but there are plenty of compelling reasons to take care of yourself, including maintaining oral hygiene and going to the dentist twice a year.

Oral Hygiene and Cancer

Patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience side effects involving their mouths. Toothaches, dry mouth, sore throats, inflammation and infection in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, strange tastes, and thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth) are often reported. You may not feel much like going to the dentist when you’re battling cancer, but try to maintain regular checkups, if at all possible. A strong and healthy mouth will make it easier for you to focus on the fight at hand. You’ll be dealing with enough without having to be concerned with fillings, root canal therapy, or extractions from severe tooth decay.

Call Your Ankeny Dentist with Oral Health Concerns

If you are battling cancer, and notice a change in oral health, consider scheduling a visit with Peddicord Family Dentistry. Contact our Ankeny dentist office by calling 515-964-1490. We are happy to serve patients from Ankeny, Cambridge, Sheldahl, Maxwell, Collins, the 50021 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.