Research suggests that periodontal disease and some forms of cancer are associated as well. According to Perio.org, “men with a history of gum disease are 14% more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums.” The finding is backed by American Dental Association (ADA) research which studied 48,000 men in the U.S. aged 40 to 75. The research also revealed increased risk factors for lung cancer (36%), kidney cancer (49%), pancreatic cancer (54%), and blood cancer (30%) over men without gum disease.
Research has shown that men with gum disease indicators, such as red, swollen or tender gums, as well as prostatitis (inflammation in the prostate) have higher levels of PSA than men with only one of the conditions. This means that prostate health may be associated with periodontal health, and vice versa. In 2015, a study from Case Western Reserve University showed that by treating men with gum disease it also reduced their symptoms of inflammation in the prostate, reducing the PSA levels in the majority of the men in the study. This research indicates that the two conditions have a link.
As for women, a recent study on women who had gum disease found that 14% of the overall group had an increased risk of breast cancer over women who didn’t have gum disease. The percentage jumps to over 30% if the woman smokes, or has smoked in the past 20 years. More research is needed to see if there is a connection between the inflammation gum disease causes and the development of breast cancer.