The Link Between Oral Bacteria and Pancreatic Cancer

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Many people may not be aware that their oral health plays a major role in their overall health. At Austin Dental Spa, our dentists are committed to helping patients not only achieve a beautiful smile, but also learn about how they can protect their oral health. Although many patients may be familiar with the oral problems associated with gum disease, ongoing research is revealing how bacteria in the mouth may be influencing systemic health.

Most recently, the American Association for Cancer Research presented findings that certain bacteria in the mouth may be connected to a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This was determined after the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society studied several years of oral-wash samples and found that two of the oral bacteria were more prevalent in the patients with pancreatic cancer. In fact, those with one or both of these bacteria had 50% or higher risk of developing the disease.

This increased risk is still being investigated, but if a direct link is confirmed, saliva tests taken by dentists may become a more prevalent detection method for pancreatic cancer. Our team is proud to already have the saliva test available, which can identify over 13 types of bacteria that are commonly found in gum disease.

To learn how to maintain optimal oral health, please contact us to schedule your next appointment.