A 2016 Chinese study published in the Journal Of Periodontology finds that individuals with periodontal disease have a 1.24-fold increased risk of developing lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death. The study, which included more than 300,000 participants, adjusted for alcohol consumption and smoking, which are known risk factors for periodontal disease. Considering that gum disease affects one out of every two Americans over age 30, these findings are very relevant to our U.S. population.
Wayne A. Aldredge, DMD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) noted that “this report can be added to the body of literature that associates periodontal disease with other conditions in the body, including diabetes and heart disease. While additional research is needed on the possible links between lung cancer and periodontal disease, we know for sure that taking care of your teeth and gums can reduce periodontal disease risk and possibly the risk of other systemic conditions.”