Gum Disease May Affect Rates of Breast Cancer

shutterstock_161260460October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and your Vista dentist Dr. Sabet wants to highlight the connection between oral health and one’s overall health. Research over the past several years has determined that gum disease is a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even prostrate cancer. Recent data also reveals that gum disease may increase one’s risk for breast cancer.

Study Shows Link Between Gum Disease and Breast Cancer

A study published in the Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment asked 3,273 individuals about their health and discovered that individuals suffering from chronic periodontal disease (gum disease) possessed a higher incidence of breast cancer. But how is oral health affected by breast cancer treatment? Chemotherapy and radiation are common treatment methods for breast cancer because they target and kill breast cancer cells. However, chemotherapy and radiation can wreak havoc on one’s oral health.

Treatments for Breast Cancer Impact Oral Health

Chemotherapy curbs white cells that are responsible for fighting off infection. Because white cells go down, patients are more likely to develop infections in the mouth especially after a dental procedure such as an extraction. Breast cancer treatments can also lead to swallowing discomfort and changes in one’s sense of taste. Chemotherapy or radiation can also bring about dry mouth which in turn elevates one’s risk for tooth decay and hinders eating and speaking. Breast cancer patients can develop mucositis, a severe case of inflammation of the mouth. Another side effect is intense pain that feels like a bad toothache. Make Dr. Sabet part of your cancer team by informing him of these side effects so that he can tailor your treatment accordingly.

Prevent Gum Disease with Good Dental Hygiene

Dr. Sabet urges patients to watch for symptoms of gum disease: swollen, bleeding, and painful gums. The best way to ward off gum disease is through twice a day brushing, once-daily flossing, and dental cleanings every six months. At each dental check up, Dr. Sabet and his team will remove plaque and tartar buildup.

About Your Vista Dentist

Dr. Alexander A. Sabet strives for clinical excellence in a comforting environment. He provides superb preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry for patients of all ages. Dr. Sabet’s various services include teeth whitening, TMJ treatment, and sedation dentistry. To learn more about his services or to schedule a consultation, call (760) 724-9117. Dr. Sabet proudly treats patients from Vista and the surrounding areas of Carlsbad, Ocean side, San Marcos, and Escondido.