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How To Prevent Pancreatic Cancer: Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Update Date: Apr 21, 2016 08:05 PM EDT

Yesterday, we did report how critical the role of dentists would be when it comes to proper oral care as an indirect way of determining if a person would be susceptible to possible head and neck issues.

Now, another study has cropped up, linking pancreatic cancer to two types of bacteria tied up with gum disease.

“We found that Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, two species of bacteria linked to periodontal disease, were associated with a more than 50 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer," claims professor Jiyoung Ahn, a scientist from New York University.

Pancreatic cancer kills more than 8,000 people annually in the United Kingdom and the latest discovery can hopefully raise the awareness for people who want to avoid it.

The research was carried out using oral samples on 732 people. Of that group, 361 reportedly went on to develop pancreatic cancer while the rest stayed healthy.

Ahn adds that in the US, about 1.5% of the population will likely be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at a certain point though these new findings could help bring down those numbers and probability.

The scientists were careful to add that they are not completely sure if the alleged bacteria were actually associated with pancreatic cancer, calling it merely as a possible link amongst the presence of bugs and statistical probability.

“Although our new findings cannot be directly translated into such approaches, if they are confirmed in additional studies, they could point to new ways to screen for the disease, and if the associations are found to be causal, they could point to potential prevention approaches,” adds Professor Ahn.

Just the same, following healthy oral care could be a good preventive measure regardless if it is linked to such or not. Ahn adds that previous studies have proven that poor oral health that includes a history of periodontal disease and missing teeth are associated with increased risks of developing pancreatic cancer.

More so, facts surrounding the role of proper oral hygiene need no further elaboration.

“Heart disease, strokes, diabetes and premature births are just some of the things which have all been heavily linked with an unhealthy mouth,” said Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the UK Oral Health Foundation.

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