Pancreatic Cancer and Gum Disease?

If you’ve been keeping up on the developments with periodontal disease and other health problems, then you probably won’t be surprised to find that periodontal disease may also be linked to pancreatic cancer.  So far periodontal disease has been linked to a host of other chronic illnesses including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, lung infections, diabetes, and impotence in men. Read on to find out more information regarding pancreatic cancer and gum disease.

Pancreatic Cancer

Your pancreas is an organ located behind the lower part of your stomach. A major cause of death among cancers, pancreatic cancer is known to spread rapidly. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer don’t often appear until the disease is too far advanced to be treated. Every year about 32,000 people in the U.S. and 60,000 people in Europe are diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas. Symptoms can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Upper abdominal pain possibly radiating toward your back
  • Blood clots
  • Jaundice
  • Depression

Research Studies

The first link discovered between severe periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer among men was in 2007 during a Harvard research study. Data was collected beginning in 1986 from 51,000 men. By the end of the study it was found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with men who had never had gum disease. Those with an increased severity of periodontitis, for example with recent tooth loss, had the greatest risk. Although it has not been proven that periodontitis causes pancreatic cancer, the results of the study help to emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene to reduce the risk for cancer,  and help to maintain overall good health.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.


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