How severe gum disease could lead to cancer

Here is what researchers have discovered.

The findings of two studies show a link between gum disease and deadliest types of cancer.

The findings are the first to show bacteria can spread to other areas of the body and cause tumours.

The first study, conducted by researchers Helsinki University led by Professor Timo Sorsa, collected data from 70,000 adults to make their findings, the Daily Mail reported.

Bacteria responsible for periodontitis can cause one to develop pancreatic cancer. The final stage of gum disease is periodontitis. Getting rid of plaque is a way to prevent it.

Finnish researchers’ finding adds to the list of evidence to show the link between cancer and gum disease. Other scientific trials have found the avoidable condition to high risk of lung, throat cancers, even melanoma. The study was originally published in the International Journal of Cancer.

The second study found Treponema denticola, bacteria that causes periodontitis, could potentially cause cancer. This study's finding was originally published in the British Journal of Cancer. "These studies have demonstrated for the first time that the virulence factors of the central pathogenic bacteria underlying gum disease are able to spread from the mouth to other parts of the body," Professor Sorsa told the Daily Mail.

Progress in investigating links to cancer is crucial. "Less than seven per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will live beyond five years, and we still don’t know enough about the causes of the disease, so research looking into this is vitally important," Leanne Reynolds, head of research at Pancreatic Cancer UK.

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