Gum Disease Bacteria Spurs Oral Cancer Growth

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014, 10:02 pm

By products from two bacteria that cause gum disease have been shown to spur the growth of a type of oral cancer.

Karposi’s sarcoma-related lesions and tumors are typically found in patients with compromised immune systems; people on medications that prevent the rejection of transplants, chemotherapy patients and the elderly. If the lesions are not removed they may develop into malignant tumors.

The researchers from Case Western Reserve University wanted to discover why most people never develop this form of cancer and what protects them from it. The researchers looked at two groups of people, one group with severe chronic gum disease and a second group with healthy gums. Saliva samples were taken and the saliva was separated into its components. After the initial tests the scientists suspected that the by-products from the bacteria were involved with growing the Karposi’s sarcoma lesions. Tests in petri dishes showed that the fatty acid by-products did indeed allow the Karposi’s to multiply but also changed molecules in the immune system so that it did not stop the grown of the Karposi’s.

This research shows one more link between the bad bacteria that are involved in gum disease and our overall health and well-being. Chronic, untreated gum disease has been linked to a wide range of conditions from heart problems to pre-term birth.

Preventing gum disease is a matter of good home care – brushing and flossing every day, and regular visits for professional cleanings. Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits will help as well. Gums that are red, puffy or bleed easily are in the early stages of gum disease but a visit to your dentist can get your gums healthy in no time.

Over time, untreated gum disease can lead to deterioration of the jaw bone and tooth loss. The infection can spread throughout the body and cause serious illness that may require hospitalization.

If it has been a while since your last visit, don’t delay any longer. Many patients feel embarrassed that they haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time – don’t worry, we will work with you to get your smile healthy and beautiful!

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your visit.

back to top


Tags: ,

Category: gum disease


Leave a Reply




Contact Us

Our Smile Gallery

smile gallery