Researchers Find Links to Gum Disease and Pancreatic Cancer

Did you know that the average survival rate for pancreatic cancer within five years of diagnosis is around 5%? This staggering statistic should not be taken lightly. That’s why Dr. Kania, our Encinitas periodontist, brings to your attention new research that suggests a connection between pancreatic cancer and gum disease.

Pancreatic Cancer and Gum Disease

Recently, the British Dental Health Foundation published their findings in the journal Gut, which describes a study concerning bacteria which causes gum disease, according to Medical News Today. They found that patients with such pathogens were two times as likely to develop pancreatic cancer. For patients without any harmful oral bacteria, their chances of pancreatic cancer were 45% less. Although the researchers cannot yet prove gum disease‘s exact relation to the causes of pancreatic cancer, the connection is significant.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer and Gum Disease

In fact, gum disease and pancreatic cancer have other connections. Your risk of both increases exponentially if you smoke or chew tobacco. One in four people with pancreatic cancer smoke. In addition, age heightens your risk of both gum disease and pancreatic cancer. Many patients diagnosed with periodontal disease are over 40, and the majority of those with pancreatic cancer are over 60.

Diabetes and Periodontal Care

Diabetes also shows a correlation between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have pancreatic cancer. Likewise, gum disease and diabetes can perpetuate a vicious cycle of health complications in combination with one another. Other risk factors for both gum disease and pancreatic cancer include poor diet and obesity.

Encinitas Periodontist

For more information about preventing gum disease and the related health complications, call our Encinitas periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania. You can schedule an appointment with our Encinitas periodontal office by calling 760-642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.