Did you know that brushing your teeth may reduce your risk of throat cancer? A new study performed at New York University published in the journal Cancer Research suggests that higher bacterial levels linked to periodontal disease may increase an individual's risk for developing esophageal cancer. The research was performed over 10 years, and 122,000 salivary samples were analyzed. Of the 122,000 people, 106 participants developed throat cancer.
What does this all mean?
The study emphasizes the value in maintaining oral hygiene. Certain bacterial strains are linked to an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer whilst other strains are associated with a reduced risk.
What causes the increased risk?
We don't know. We are not sure if gum disease or certain bacteria are linked to an increased risk for developing esophageal cancer. Nonetheless, it is clear that maintaining oral hygiene and good oral health is important.
Visit your dentist regularly. Floss floss floss and make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste.