Although dental plaque has long been linked to heart disease, a new dental study now ties the pesky bacteria to an increase in the risk of premature death from cancer. The Swedish study, which tracked 1,400 participants over 24 years, shows that dental plaque levels were higher in the 35 individuals in the study who died of cancer. According to Birgitta Soeder, a professor of preventive dentistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and leader of the study, the women should have lived an additional 13.5 years and the men an additional 8, making the deaths of both genders “premature.”
The technical definition of dental plaque is “a film of mucus and bacteria deposited on the teeth that encourages the development of dental caries.” This film of mucus is dangerous, because toxins from the plaque can enter the bloodstream and spread to the rest of the body with “systematic consequences.” Leaders of the study claim the association is causal, and further research needs to be done on the subject of dental plaque and cancer risk.
Earlier studies done on dental plaque have suggested that individuals with severe periodontal disease may have an increased risk for developing diabetes, and infections around the teeth may be indicators of heart disease. The research done in Sweden also made statistical adjustments for potential risk factors linked to premature death, like education, smoking, frequency of dental visits, and income level. Although some factors were controlled, dental plaque may not be the cause of the cancer, and other risk factors, like obesity and diet, would be associated with both dental plaque and death.
This is not the first study of its kind. In studies performed by scientists around the world, dental plaque has been linked to the following diseases: heart disease, diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, and even premature birth. While dentists and doctors remain unaware of why or how dental plaque can affect other aspects of health, it is believed that plaque entering the bloodstream is a major contributor.
Regardless of your age or gender, it is important to take care of your teeth, visit a dentist regularly and do your best to keep plaque from forming. At Cash for Dental Scrap, we buy gold and silver crowns, bridges, and PFMs. If you’ve suffered from a dental issue in the past, you may have what we refer to as “dental scrap” in your possession. Feel free to request a SCRAP-PAK today; send us your items and wait for your check in the mail. Who knows? With all the cash you get in return for your dental scrap, you may be able to afford teeth whitening or the newest cosmetic dental procedure!