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Plaque on Teeth Could Contribute to Premature Cancer Death

Mike Barrett
June 12th, 2012
Updated 11/02/2012 at 8:33 pm
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toothdecay 235x147 Plaque on Teeth Could Contribute to Premature Cancer Death

Brushing your teeth and keeping your gums clean does a lot more than just make for a good smile – it could even prolong your life. According to research conducted over the course of 24 years, plaque on teeth over an extended time could increase your risk of dying from cancer 13 years earlier than what would normally be expected with proper oral health.

Plaque on Teeth: Ruining More Than Just a Pretty Smile

In a mission to discover if dental plaque is a risk factor for early cancer death as a result of infection or inflammation – which are both thought to play a role in 1 in 5 cancers – researchers from Sweden tracked the health of nearly 1,400 Swedish adults from 1985-2009. Each participant went through oral clinical examination where levels of plaque on teeth, tartar, gum disease, and tooth loss were measured. They also answered a questionnaire taking note of other factors likely to increase cancer risk, such as smoking and socioeconomic status.

“Our study hypothesis was confirmed by the finding that poor [oral] hygiene, as reflected in the amount of dental plaque, was associated with increased cancer mortality. Further studies are required to determine whether there is any causal element in the observed association.”

During the study period, 58 of the participants died, 35 of which were caused by cancer. What the researchers noticed was that the dental plaque index of those who died was higher than those than individuals still living. Those who died from cancer had dental plaque index values of 0.84 to 0.91, which meant that there was a large amount of plaque on their teeth. The values among the survivors were consistently lower, at around 0.66 to 0.67, indicating that plaque on teeth and gums was only a partial problem..

“The high bacterial load on tooth surfaces and in gingival pockets over a prolonged period of time may indeed play a role in carcinogenesis,” the authors said in the published paper. “Further studies are definitely required, however, to determine whether there is any causal element in the observed association reported here.”

In the end, dental plaque was associated with a 79% increased risk of early death from cancer. Demographic data showed that the women should have lived 13 years longer and the men 8.5 years longer, so the deaths were premature, said the authors, led by Birgitta Soeder, professor emerita of preventive dentistry at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

While the research doesn’t show direct causation, the association between dental plaque and early cancer death does show how certain health problems could be existing due to other seemingly unrelatable health problems. The best and easiest ways to maintain proper oral hygiene is to avoid eating and drinking sugary foods, processed foods, and junk foods. Brushing your teeth regularly (preferably with fluoride-free toothpaste, and flossing should also be done to prevent plaque from building up. In addition to these obvious and effective preventative measures, you could also try certain techniques to enhance oral health such as oil pulling. Oil pulling benefits for oral health have been utilized for centuries.

About Mike Barrett:
2.thumbnail Plaque on Teeth Could Contribute to Premature Cancer Death Google Plus Profile |Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.

From around the web:

  • Doc. B.

    Parents has huge responsibility when it comes to their child's welfare. More than anyone else, they should be the first who should be teaching their kids on dental care. They have great influence over the children. Parents not only grow a child, but also plant good character.

  • Neena Thurman

    There's one more reason to brush your teeth. In fact, if that doesn't convince you to keep up with good oral hygiene, I don't know what will.

  • Sandra Castronomo

    This is a reminder for all of us. If we want to live longer, then we must properly take care of ourselves- because forgetting to brush our teeth can definitely put out lives into risk. It is thus important that we always consult our dentists for any dental health concern. Don't mind dental costs. Health is wealth!

  • I love Invisalign

    Wow. That’s pretty scary. I’m always looking for better Ways to improve dental health naturally. Will be trying oil pulling soon. I wanted to mention that I have heard good things about Xylitol and been rinsing with it to inhibit plaque nightly. I just take several spoonfuls of xylitol, mix it With home distilled water and inse with that. Anyone else try this.

  • Susan

    The statistics are truly shocking. 79 percent increased risk of early death from cancer is definitely scary and not something that anyone can afford to overlook. Who would have thought that plaque deposits if left for long periods of time could increase the risk of cancer. There has always been emphasis on keeping our teeth plaque free but it’s always been a matter of oral hygiene coupled with of course, a ‘pretty smile’. The cancer factor puts a completely different dimension to importance of brushing our teeth religiously and maintaining overall dental hygiene. Thank you for your very informative article. I will be sending out the link to your article to everybody I know. Dental Plaque

    • Sar

      Cancer can not survive without sugar, neither can plaque. In my opinion, dental hygiene will only improve dental hygiene, if you want to improve cancer survival chances, cut out sugar.

  • Louis

    Plaque is associated with cancer, there is NO causation. It might very well be that people with bad dental hygiene don't have a good diet either, or don't take good care of their body in general …

  • ThomasT

    Plaque? Try something a little nearer the truth.

    And, why always this misinfo? Why always treatments and no cure? There is a reason is simple. Its a trillion dollar industry that cannot beallowed to lose any money..

    The story starts with the sad fact that no alternative cancer cure is allowed to be published in any now exposed-as-corrupt med journal, and that makes it illegal for your doc to even mention it, let alone cure you with any such protocol.

    In the mid-1980s a famous US physician, Dr. Robert Good, became interested in an alternative cancer therapy that in clinical trials was shown to work well. At that point, Dr. Good was one of the most published authors in scientific literature, with over 2,000 articles to his name. He was the father of modern immunology and performed the first bone marrow transplant. He had been nominated for the Nobel Prize three times. By every measure, Dr. Robert Good was as mainstream as mainstream could be imagined up to his epiphany about cancer treatment.

    When Dr. Good wrote about this alternative cancer treatment, he was refused publication in all medical journals because the findings were "too controversial," and flew in the face of conventional medical doctrine. He had strayed too far outside the bounds of what was "acceptable," and that was simply out of the question for the rest of the mainstream, even coming from someone with credentials as outstanding as Dr. Good's.

    The Cure and Prevention of All Cancers, 2007, H R Clark PhD ND is privately published, exactly for this reason.

    Dr Clark, an ex-Canadian Govt. cell research biologist carried out over half a million repeatable, so scientifically VALID bio-resonance comparisons tests to identify the specific bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, dyes, moulds, radio-active substances, and benzene, asbestos, food allergens etc that are the cause of all cancers.

    Other cures address most of these factors, and by doing so, they interrupt theIR pathways. That stops the malignancy, sometimes within 24 hours. (Clark H R, PhD ND, 1995). The then boosted immune systems digests the tumor. Some of the cures are those of Drs Raymond Rife, and Robert Beck; (electrical); Dr Burzynski (gene targetting with drugs); , Germany`s ozone cure;; and the herbal route of essiac, Dr. Marijah McCain, H Hoxey and Jason Winters.

  • Judy

    Along the same lines as the above, maybe people who die of cancer have a long prodromal period during which they don't feel well, and become increasingly self-neglecting. Maybe people of lower socio-economic status eat diets which contribute to plack build up AND cancer. Coincidence does not equal causation.

  • mothman777

    Yes, something like 97% of people who die from cancer are found to have had root canal fillings, which get really nasty smelly bacteria growing in the dead root. Dr Mercola recommends having all root canals out, as well as all mercury fillings of course.

    I recently stopped using my electric toothbrush due to excessive and very painful gum erosion, even with very gentle and modest usage (once a day). My pain has stopped now entirely, and I am just brushing with an ordinary medium toothbrush and flossing, but on top of that I have started using a water pik device what shoots a stream of high pressure water at the gum line, and the difference is amazing, no more bacteria smell at all after using the water device, (flossing and the electric brush never could accomplish that) it gives a much greater clean than the electric toothbrushes without all the gum erosion.

    I also use Ramiel Nagel's advice about using glycerin and fluoride free paste (Vicco Vajradanti ayurvedic toothpaste is perfect), also drinking raw milk, which really does put new enamel back on your teeth, curing pain. Be sure to not only scrub your tongue, but also the entire inner surface of the mouth, as loads of slippery plaque accumulates elsewhere, especially on the roof of the mouth; I use a flannel to rub that off, and sterilize it by boiling the flannel every day.

  • TF

    lol where did my post go?

    • TF

      ADA has been feeding us a poison and performing deadly root canals for years. No trust left for them.

  • TF

    Did these people use fluoride? Or was that not part of the study?

    I tried oilpulling, couldn't do it long enough.

    ADA has been feeding people lies about fluoride and root canals for years! I trust them about us much as I trust the FDA to protect us from Monsanto!

  • charkee

    A build up of plaque is related to the person not feeling they are being listened to, or do not feel they have the right or have fear to speak out.

    Thus a person that is not speaking out holds in pent up emotions that are at the roots of cancer.

    Does the cancer patient have a spouse that does not listen or not allow him to speak his mind? Does he have a boss that is a bully? Does his boss punish freedom of speech? Are you a "yes man", just to keep the peace?

    Next, I'd like to see a study on the effects of the color of our clothing has on cancer. I wonder if people that wear Chinese made shoes have more cancer than those that wear Italian shoes?

    Studies not taking the psyche into account makes the vast majority of "studies" obscenely silly and a total waste of time and money. (including torturing defenseless,trusting, loving laboratory animals.)

    Why is it that people that think they know something refuse to take responsibility for their own emotions? Why is it so intimidating for those trained in "scientific" thinking to even consider the mind's overwhelming effect on our health?

    Science is at a disconnect here, and it virtually impossible to get people to see it. But then money and profit corrupts virtually all science nowadays :(

    It is so odd that illiterate jungle shamans clearly see this, but the educated not only don't see this, they militantly refuse to see it.

  • Vivek

    I read about oilpulling here and on the healthcoach and have been doing it for about 3 weeks now.

    I have to say my mouth/gums/teeth feel a whole lot better. I'd encourage people to try it.