Rochester Dentist Explains Connection Between Breast Cancer and Gum Disease

Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? You may have been noticing pink ribbons and other merchandise designed to provide solidarity with people fighting breast cancer, but you probably haven’t made a connection between breast cancer and oral health. Dr. Gilly Calcagno, your Rochester dentist, is here to educate you on important links between breast cancer and periodontal disease.

Gum Disease Might Predict Breast Cancer?

From 1985 to 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) researched periodontal (gum) disease in connection with breast cancer. Over 3000 participants from ages 30 to 40 were studied. A significantly higher incidence of breast cancer appeared to be indicated in patients that that presented with missing molars from chronic periodontal disease.

Other studies have surmised that as many as 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease. If severe periodontal disease can, in fact, predict higher rates of breast cancer, the push for oral hygiene should be more than ever. Simple acts such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist twice a year will, at the very least, give you a higher quality of life. If oral health does end up protecting you from life threatening diseases, as many leading health experts believe, you will be doing yourself an even greater service than just have a nice looking smile.

Oral Hygiene is Especially Important for Patients with Cancer

Patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience unpleasant issues involving their mouths, such as:

  • Toothaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Inflammation
  • Infection in the mouth
  • Sort throat
  • Thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth)
  • Altered tastes

Arrange an Appointment with Your Rochester Dentist

You may not feel much like going to the dentist when you’re battling cancer, but try to maintain regular checkups, if possible. A healthy mouth can help you focus on your fight. While undergoing chemotherapy, if you experience any changes in your oral health, check with your general physician, oncologist and dentist. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Calcagno, contact our Rochester dentist office by calling (507)281-3659. We are happy to provide cosmetic and general dentistry to patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, the 55902, and surrounding communities.