Periodontitis – pancreatic cancer risk factor?

Study Presented at American Association for Cancer Research finds periodontal bacteria increase the risk for pancreatic cancer

Researchers from New York University looked at 361 cases of pancreatic cancer and compared them to 371 matched controls. The researchers controlled for age, race, sex, smoking status, alcohol consumption, BMI, and a history of diabetes. The findings showed that two periodontal pathogens, P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans were associated with a 50% greater risk in pancreatic cancer. The investigators were careful to point out that the link does not prove that the bacteria causes pancreatic cancer but that it may be helpful in understanding new approaches to pancreatic cancer prevention and early detection.

Periodontal Disease and Pancreatic Cancer

A 2007 study that examined a cohort of 51,529 male health professionals found that having a history of periodontal disease was associated with a 2.7 fold increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer in people who had never smoked. The data also indicated that tooth loss in the preceding four years was associated with an increased risk. The investigators hypothesized that the association may be due to systemic inflammation and/or increased levels of carcinogenic compounds generated by periodontal bacteria.

Good oral health is the key to good general health and controlling plaque biofilm is essential. A 2009 study conducted at the University of Southern California Center for Biofilms found that the Waterpik® Water Flosser removed 99.9% of plaque biofilm from treated areas after a 3 second exposure. When compared to string floss, a different study found that the Water Flosser was 29% more effective at removing plaque.

Want something fun and interesting to share with your patients on the oral systemic link? Learn about how good oral health helped Jim.


Oral Health and Your Body by Water Pik, Inc