Article on Gum Disease and Breast Cancer Highlights Importance of Maintaining Oral Health

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According to an article published February 25 in Dallas County News, a new dentiststudy indicates that women with gum disease may have a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer than women with no oral health concerns. Natural Awakenings Long Island spoke with Dr. Johnathan Richter about this news. Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cardiodontal, in Great Neck, was emphatic that breast cancer is only one of the many health concerns that may be related to gum disease; it is a reminder of how intertwined oral health is with the well-being of the body as a whole.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease of the mouth, which is caused by microorganisms contained in dental plaque. Richter has been focused on the whole body systemic effect of oral health for years and has written numerous articles on the link to other inflammatory diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. The reason Richter believes there is a connection? “Bacteria from infected gums may enter the bloodstream and attach itself to blood vessels or even be transported to various areas of the body,” explains Richter. While there is still much left to be learned about the interaction between gum disease and other illnesses, it is still worth noting that good oral care at home and with one’s dentist will impact one’s overall health and wellness.

Richter notes that when it comes to oral health, preventive care is the most important option for patients. “when patients come to our office, they not only get the thorough in-office care that they would expect, they also get strict instructions on the best homecare routines for themselves and their families. Maintaining effective oral hygiene routines, including visiting your dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings; brushing after meals; chewing gum with xylitol; flossing; and the use of a water irrigator, like Waterpik, will reduce cavities, reduce periodontal disease and it seems now if this study is an accurate indicator, these good oral hygiene habits may even reduce the risk of breast cancer.”

Source: Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cardiodontal (310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-282-0310.

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