Pancreatic Cancer May be Caused by Gum Disease

The evidence is undeniable. Continuing studies have revealed that untreated gum disease is a major cause of many serious illnesses. And unfortunately yet another deadly disease may have its origins in poor oral health.

In a recent issue of JAMA magazine (Journal of the American Medical Association) researchers have reported that people who have very high levels of a certain oral bacteria are more prone to develop pancreatic cancer than those who maintain good oral care.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers. Where the survival rate in most cancers is better than 50%. Pancreatic cancer’s 5-year survival rate is in the mid-teens.
During the study, the medical team compared over 700 saliva samples of those who later developed pancreatic cancer with those who did not. What they discovered was those who had a high level of Porphyromonas Gingivalis had a better than 50% risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Unfortunately, that form of gingivalis is very common and usually develops into periodontitis, which is a gum infection that destroys the soft gum tissue and bone that keep teeth in place.

What this research has revealed is that a very common form of gum disease is prevalent in those who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and not in those who develop it after cancer has been revealed.

Still, studies continue to look for the direct causes of pancreatic cancer and what can be done to prevent and avoid it. Dr. Jiyoung Ahn of New York University believes that since cancer is usually brought on by inflammation, untreated oral inflammation may later infect the pancreas which may later become deadly.

However, more research is needed to positively link oral disease with pancreatic cancer.