Flossing may not be the most pleasant way to spend a few minutes each day, but it is necessary, and is something that definitely recommended by Dr Rik Trivedi and all of the dental team at Parrock Dental and Implant Centre. If you’re tempted to skip flossing later on today because you feel too tired, or can simply think of something more fun to do then it’s worth remembering that you are neglecting to clean one third of your tooth surfaces. Not flossing will definitely increase your risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in the world, and not flossing will increase the risk of needing dental implants in Kent. But it could also increase the risk of cancer.
It’s not the first time gum disease has been linked to cancer, but now a couple of new independent studies have found a connection between a microbe found in gum disease and colorectal cancer. This particular cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the world, and you’re much more likely to have it if you live in a developed country. In the past studies have looked at one particular microbe called Fusobacterium and have found it living in the healthy tissue next to colorectal cancer.
Fusobacterium are also frequently associated with gum disease, but at that point a link hadn’t been found between the bacteria and the actual cancerous tumours. This led researchers to look at the earlier stages of colon cancer, and sure enough they found Fusobacterium in the actual tumour. In fact the bacterium was found in samples containing benign tumours which are regarded as being a precursor of colorectal cancer as they can become malignant. Another study looked at how these bacterium were able to migrate to the intestines, and they found that the bacterium were able to produce a molecule that allowed them to attach themselves to blood vessels. Now work is being conducted into blocking the production of this molecule, and it’s hoped this could help treat colorectal cancer, and possibly gum disease.
It’s scary to think that something as simple as not flossing your teeth everyday could lead to bacteria from your mouth being able to colonise other parts of your body, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense as gum disease creates bleeding wounds in the mouth that are the perfect entry point for these bacteria.
If you’re concerned about your oral health and think it could do with some improvement then why not book an appointment for a check-up with Dr Trivedi or another of our dentists in Kent? You can either fill in our enquiry form online at www.parrockdental.co.uk or you can give us a call on 01474 537191.