A new study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, suggests that gum disease can significantly raise the risk of head and neck cancer. Researchers found that people diagnosed with these forms of cancer were much more likely to have chronic gum disease (periodontitis) than people without cancer. Gum disease leads to bone loss and the loss of tissue surrounding the teeth. Each millimeter of bone loss due to gum disease was associated with a more than four times greater risk of head and neck cancer. This study also confirms that chronic inflammation and infection increases the risk of cancer.
Other health risks associated with gum disease include: diabetes, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and preterm birth.
Be on the look out for these signs of gum disease:
· Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
· Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
· Receding gums (gums that have pulled away from the teeth)
· Persistent bad breath
The best way to combat gum disease is to brush and floss daily. Mouth wash can also provide significant benefit. The rinse that I use is called Pathway GUM TONIC. This herbal formula strengthens gum tissue with its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. Ingredients include goldenseal root, bayberry root bark, prickly ash, myrrh gum, and coptis root. Mix 1 dropperful in a small amount of water and rinse. Not only is this formula great for gums, but it is also helpful for painful canker sores too.
Other important supplements for oral health include: Vitamin C, CoQ10, folic acid, grapeseed extract, and probiotics.