Most people don't associate oral plaque with cancer, but studies have shown that there is a connection. Researchers have found a link that connects early cancer deaths with plaque in your mouth. No one saw this coming, but the evidence is expanding to create a bridge between plaque and early cancer risks.
You may be wondering how plaque can influence the rate at which someone diagnosed with cancer can die, but the answer is simple. Studies have found that when the subjects were examined, people who died from cancer had a tremendous amount of plaque in their mouths versus those who survived. Although clearly linked, many factors play into this outcome.
When questioned about other variables that might have been a factor regarding the death of cancer patients, researchers said there was still a strong link. They had taken into account other factors in the patients' lives and were still able to find a viable association between the amount of plaque and early deaths.
What's the Link?
The link that connects these seemingly unlikely things is inflammation. Some cancers are motivated through inflammation. Plaque is a collection of bacteria in the mouth that requires antibodies to be sent to react to bacteria. The reaction is said to be inflammatory. It causes a series of enzymatic cells to be released into the bloodstream, which could cause tumor growth. This tumor growth could then become cancerous.
Since plaque is composed of a bacteria that constantly requires this reaction to combat further infections, it is then linked to increasing the rate at which any current tumor in the body grows.
What Can You Do to Stop It?
There are many simple things that you can do to prevent plaque from increasing your probability of death in the event of cancer. Just because research has yet to definitively prove that early cancer death is directly caused by plaque does not mean you shouldn't worry.
Plaque can cause a variety of other diseases that affect your mouth and body. A simple and quick way to prevent plaque growth is through brushing and flossing regularly. This will ensure you are doing your part to keep a clean mouth.
Another way you can combat the link is through regular family dentist visits for a cleaning and check-up. Even changing your toothbrush regularly to ensure no bacteria is growing on it is an easy way to lessen your chances of having plaque. These simple yet effective ways to combat plaque could someday save your life.