Good oral health 'could help in the fight against cancer'

12 June 2012

People can reduce the risk that various forms of cancer present to them by keeping their teeth clean and healthy.

This is the main message which has been delivered by researchers in Sweden, after an analysis of the oral health of 1,390 people between 1985 and 2009.

According to the scientists' findings, which have been published in the BMJ Open online journal, an increased amount of dental plaque is linked to people dying prematurely from cancer.

The researchers monitored the participants over the 24-year period and found that 58 patients had died by the end of the study.

Of these deaths, 35 were as a result of cancer and each had a considerably higher amount of dental plaque on their teeth than survivors had.

Commenting on the research, the study's authors stated: "Based on the present findings, the high bacterial load on tooth surfaces and in gingival pockets over a prolonged time may indeed play a role in carcinogenesis."

Last month, Bupa conducted a poll which found that just 53 per cent of Brits will attend a standard dental examination on an annual basis.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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