Gum disease has now been possibly linked to yet another horrible disease, this time esophageal cancer. The seventh most common cause of cancer deaths among men, esophageal cancer caused nearly 17,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2016 among both men and women.
Researchers took samples from 120,000 mouths and then studied them over a 10-year period. Individuals who had higher levels of the bacteria Tannerella forsythia —the same bacteria that’s linked to gum disease —were shown to have a greater risk of developing a form of esophogeal cancer.
These results, like so many studies before them, aren’t conclusive. However, as researcher Jiyoung Ahn said in the press release that accompanied the report, “regular tooth brushing and dental checkups couldn’t hurt!”