Recent Dental News Highlights Link Between Oral Health, General Health

A recent medical horror story and the results of a new study emphasize the intimate connection between our oral health and our overall well-being.

The San Diego dentists at Strober Dental understand how your dental health affects your general health, and we focus on helping patients achieve smiles that are as healthy as they are beautiful. The benefits of good oral health extend beyond our mouths; likewise, healthy lifestyle choices have positive effects on our dental health.

Oral Bacteria and Pancreatic Cancer

Untreated gum disease has long been associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer and other cancers. At the American Association for Cancer Research’s recent annual meeting, scientists presented the findings of a new study that identified two species of bacteria linked to periodontal disease that specifically indicate an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

The two bacteria are mouthfuls to be sure: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. But their presence together was associated with a 50 percent greater risk of pancreatic cancer.

The study demonstrates the importance of a good dental hygiene routine that includes brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and regular preventive checkups and teeth cleanings. It also holds promise as an early detection measure for pancreatic cancer, which kills approximately 40,000 Americans per year and is often diagnosed in its advanced stages. Many systemic health problems show initial signs in the mouth, and your dentist can be an important first line of defense.

Doctor’s (And Dentist’s) Orders

How we treat our bodies can also affect our mouths. Consider the recent story of a diabetic woman who manipulated her insulin therapy in order to lose weight; she lost the weight, but she also lost her teeth.

The woman is not alone; she suffers from diabulimia, an eating disorder in which diabetics skip or reduce their prescribed insulin injections in order to drop pounds. However, the side effects of losing weight this way include gum infections and tooth loss among other health problems.

Incidentally, the woman in the story is recovering with family support and holistic medical care in the form of physicians, psychotherapists and dentists. She wears dentures to restore the bite function and smile aesthetics lost due to her condition.

If you’re seeking exceptional, comprehensive dental care in San Diego, please call Strober Dental at (619) 299-5925 to schedule your appointment. We believe a healthy smile is a beautiful smile.