How Are Pancreatic Cancer And Bad Oral Health Linked?
Posted on 1/10/2020 by Neil Starr DDS PC
The pancreas is an organ in the body that helps in digestion by producing enzymes from the exocrine gland and regulating blood sugar levels by producing insulin from the endocrine gland. Pancreatic cancer comes about when the cells of the pancreas form tumors from abnormal growth.
Research has shown that pancreatic cancer is commonly caused by overgrowth in the exocrine glands. However, is there a link between bad oral health and pancreatic cancer? A research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that men with a history of periodontal disease have higher chances of contracting pancreatic cancer.
What Is The Link Between Pancreatic Cancer And Bad Oral Health?
The direct link between bad oral health and pancreatic cancer is yet to be identified. However, patients with a history of periodontal infections are at more risk of having pancreatic cancer because of the increased levels of inflammatory markers in the blood. Such high levels of inflammatory markers could trigger the overgrowth of the cells.
Periodontal infections also increase the level of carcinogenic compounds in your mouth. Exposure to carcinogenic compounds increases the risk of contracting cancer. These compounds also interact with the enzymes from the exocrine gland and spur the growth of cancerous cells.
Viral and bacterial infections have also been shown to trigger carcinogenesis. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The growth of this bacteria leads to the release of inflammatory cytokines, which play a role in the development of various cancers, including oral and pancreatic cancer.
Even though there are other causes of pancreatic cancer, such as liver cirrhosis, obesity, and tobacco use among others, you shouldn't take your chances about the possibility of bad oral health leading to cancer. Cancer is very difficult and expensive to treat. Besides observing good oral hygiene, you should also schedule regular dental checkups with us. Get in touch with us today.