Cancer Risk to Mouth and Throat Elevated by Poor Oral Hygiene

Cancer Risk to Mouth and Throat Elevated by Poor Oral Hygiene

83405532Poor oral hygiene is normally associated with bleeding and swollen gums, cavities and tooth loss. Cancer of the mouth and throat are usually associated with heavy drinking and tobacco use (smoking or smokeless). However, there is also a risk of developing cancers of the mouth and throat by avoiding good oral health practices.
A recent study covering European cancer patients and control subjects from nine countries revealed a direct link to poor oral hygiene and the development of certain mouth and throat cancers. The study involved Bremen, Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology and Glasgow University Dental School researchers.
It was found that those with infected gums as well as those with dentures, both full and partial, were at a higher risk for developing cancer in the mouth and throat. Denture wearers were found to be in the poor oral health group because many believe that because they do not have their own teeth, there is less of a need to see a dentist. Non-denture wearers were classified as poor dental health targets if they rarely or never brushed their teeth or made dental visits.
Another earlier study conducted in 2013 and published in the Cancer Prevention Research journal revealed that those with poor oral health were at a 56 percent higher risk for developing human papillomavirus (HPV). Although HPV is most commonly known to cause sexually transmitted diseases in the genital area, certain types can form and infect the mouth and throat (oral HPV). Oral HPV normally thrives at the base of the tongue and around the tonsils causing what are known as ‘oropharyngeal cancers’.
When bacteria are allowed to grow and thrive in the mouth due to poor oral hygiene practices, they can infect the mouth and throat areas causing changes in cell growth. Although the body’s immune system usually fights off such infections, a weak immune system or the use of agents such as tobacco and alcohol can accelerate the process. Symptoms of the possible presence of mouth and throat cancer include pain when swallowing, sore throat, persistent oral sores, hoarseness, earaches, enlarged lymph nodes and a rapid loss of weight.
Maintaining good oral health significantly reduces the risk for developing mouth or throat cancers. Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular visits to a dental professional and avoiding tobacco and alcohol use, will help to ensure that you have a beautiful, healthy smile and remain mouth and throat cancer-free.
Want to see all the other health issues that can stem from not taking care of your teeth? Check out our interactive dental resource! It’ll change the way you think about oral health!

This article is part of our blog series, “The Deadly Consequences of Poor Dental Care

Poor Dental Care Consequences
Thanh Cong Bui, Christine M. Markham, Michael Wallis Ross, et al. “Examining the Association between Oral Health and Oral HPV Infection” Cancer Prev Res. August 21, 2013.

Keeping Our Patients Safe and Healthy at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C.

Dear Patients,

As all of you know, our vision here at John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. is to partner with patients to achieve the best for their long-term oral and overall health. We are honored to serve you. In light of current coronavirus/COVID-19 concerns affecting the world and an order from the Arizona Governor we, like all dental offices in Arizona, are closed for anything other than dental emergencies until April 3rd.

If you have a dental emergency, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are committed now and always to your needs.

The offices of John R. Carson D.D.S., P.C. continues to employ the most up-to-date infection control procedures and our record proves that they work really well! Rest assured that the infection control and standard precautions that we always employed are excellent deterrents to COVID-19 and every other virus. In addition to the routine steps we take, we are being even more vigilant of all the areas in the office. Surfaces in the reception area, front desk area, consultation area and restroom, which would normally be cleaned and disinfected daily, are now being disinfected throughout the day. Hand sanitizer is readily available in all areas of the practice for your use.

During this confusing and stressful time, staying healthy helps you fight off any challenge! Know that we take our role as your healthcare partner very seriously and are here to help! For the latest information and guidance, please refer to the CDC’s COVID-19 situation webpage, the Department of Public Health website, or ADA.

Stay safe and healthy—we look forward to seeing you soon.