Gum disease increases your risk for many health problems other than tooth loss, such as: B. Heart disease. A Harvard study, summarized in a July 20, 2020 letter published online by Gut magazine, suggests that the microbes lodged between your teeth and gums may affect your risk of stomach and esophageal cancer. Harvard scientists analyzed health data from two large studies that involved nearly 150,000 men and women. For up to 28 years of follow-up, people with a history of periodontal disease (gum disease) were 43% more likely to develop esophageal cancer and 52% more likely to develop stomach cancer (stomach cancer) than people with healthier gums. The risk was even higher in patients with gum disease that was severe enough to cause tooth loss. The study is observational and does not prove that gum disease causes cancer. However, it could mean that one day doctors will take a look at your gum health as they assess your overall risk. Fortunately, gum disease prevention is easy. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once a day, and get regular dental exams and cleaning.
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