Gum disease raises colon cancer risk

Researchers in the United States (U.S.) have said that people with periodontal (gum) disease have a higher risk of polyps, which could lead to colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer. Findings of the new study were published in the journal; ‘Cancer Prevention Research’.


Periodontal (gum) disease, which was common but fairly preventable, was an infection of the tissues that hold the teeth in place. It is typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque – a sticky film of bacteria – to build up on the teeth and harden.


The study showed that compared with people with no history of periodontal disease, those who had gum disease had a 17 per cent increased relative risk of having a serrated polyp and an 11 per cent increased risk of a conventional adenoma.


While serrated polyps were a type of growth that sticks out from the surface of the colon or rectum, conventional adenoma was associated with smoking, high body mass index (BMI) and a diet of red meat.


Similarly, the researchers found that the loss of four or more teeth was associated with a 20 per cent increased risk for having a serrated polyp. The team analysed 42,486 men and women participating in two large continuing health surveys.


Over the past several decades, the participants had periodically reported information on health and diet, including reports of gingivitis and tooth loss, the ‘New York Times’ reported.


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