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Good Dental Health Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer

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Good Dental Health Can Help Prevent Breast Cancer

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Breast Cancer and Dental Health?

Every year, in the United States, at least 1 woman in every 8 will have breast cancer. That amounts to a lot of women, and the problem does relate to health neglecting, especially by smoking and drinking alcohol, but the surprising factor may be that oral health has been connected to breast cancer.

A recent study has proven that women with chronic gum disease are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Another study, performed by the World Health Organization, conducted between 1985 and 2001, has also complemented the results, connecting gum disease and breast cancer.

The Cause of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a rather annoying disease that affects the gums, as well as the bones of the teeth, and its main cause is bacteria that manifests itself as plaque. That plaque is formed by the remains of food and can be found on your teeth and between them, as well as on the gums, too. Daily removal not only helps in keeping your teeth healthy from other factors, but it also removes the plaque. That means catching more fish with one hook, and you only need to floss and brush daily.
The first sign of gum disease is inflammation, which you can notice by the redness of the gums, as well as bleeding while brushing. Immediate action should be taken, because further development of the disease could lead to severe inflammation, which then affects the teeth, causing bone loss, and the requirement of teeth removal.

If breast cancer is already present, and you have been prescribed chemotherapy or radiation as the preferred treatment, the repercussions could be severe and include many of the following side effects in your mouth:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • White cell loss, leading to higher risks of teeth and gums infections (this can also cause difficulties in any invasive procedures in the mouth, as well as teeth extraction)
  • Oral yeast infection from the bacteria known as candida
  • Taste alterations
  • A deep, aching pain, one that mimics toothache

If any of the previously mentioned symptoms start occurring in your case, you should go to your dentist immediately. But, there are ways to go around this, that is, to still have a positive effect on your teeth, you would only need to be a bit more careful, and should follow the following recommendations:

  • Brush with a rather soft toothbrush, being quite gentle with the with your gums, which goes as well for flossing
  • Use a mouthwash that is free of saccharin and alcohol, but, make sure that it contains xylitol
  • If your white blood cells results return with a low count, stay away from dental treatment for a while, especially any invasive procedures, which you should also do for at least a week, after chemotherapy

A Healthy Mouth for a Healthy Body

Be sure to keep your mouth healthy, to visit your dentist regularly and to floss and brush on a daily basis, especially after meals, and you will reduce the risk of further dental problems, and breast cancer, too. Not every visit to the dentist has to be a painful one, even more so if you take care of your oral health, by following the tips written above.