Possible Link between Gum Disease and Bowel Cancer

Possible Link between Gum Disease and Bowel Cancer

According to researchers, gum disease may be linked to bowel cancer. The same bacterium was found to be present in samples of both conditions. With gum disease being very common and bowel cancer being among the most common cancers, this finding is important for patients to note. Here is more about how these conditions may be connected.

Bacteria in Both Conditions

The bacteria researchers found in gum disease and bowel cancer is Fusobacterium nucleatum. In another study published in the same journal, this bacterium was also found to make cancer cells accumulate more quickly. Fortunately, the researchers also figured out how to keep the bacteria from attaching themselves to cells in the colon.

Preventive Approach

A link between gum disease and bowel cancer suggests that good oral hygiene could be part of plans for preventing bowel cancer. If future studies confirm this connection, strategies could be developed for controlling levels of F. nucleatum bacteria in patients at risk for gum disease. Furthermore, tests for the bacteria could be added to approaches to preventing bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is just one more condition that can be added to the list of systemic problems linked to gum disease. With gum disease often being preventable, patients can minimize their risk by lowering their sugar intake and cleaning the teeth every day. At least twice each year, patients should receive a check-up from our dentist. Patients who have gum disease can visit our dentist for periodontal cleaning, which can stop and reverse the condition in many cases.