Post-Menopausal Women and Gum Disease

As we’ve repeatedly reported in the last few years, it’s not just our patients’ teeth and confidence that are harmed by periodontal (gum) disease. Their very lives may be at risk.

More and more studies suggest a relationship between periodontal disease and cancers, and not just oral cancer which would be the most likely link.

In a University of Buffalo study, more than 65,000 post-menopausal women with periodontal disease were found to have a three-times greater risk of developing esophageal cancer. A staggering 73% were found to be more likely to get gallbladder cancers, with 23% found more likely to have melanoma and 13% more likely to have breast tumors.

A history of gum disease was equated to a 14% overall higher risk of developing any cancer. While today’s science doesn’t yet fully understand the link, it’s thought that bacteria from the severe gum disease travels to other parts of the body causing inflammation which may increase the risk of cancer.

If you have symptoms like swollen, tender or bleeding gums, pain when chewing, or bad breath, don’t ignore them! While proper care of your teeth and gums may help prevent your risk of developing gum disease, we offer a minimally invasive laser procedure called LANAP® to successfully treat gum disease and help grow back healthy tissue.

Note: Did you know that women may be more prone to gum disease? Increases in hormones during puberty and pregnancy, as well as dry mouth after menopause, may be some of the culprits.