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Periodontitis may lead to increased cancer risk

March 19, 2018 Severe periodontitis may lead to an increased risk of cancer, according to a study published Jan. 27 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers looked at data from more than 7,000 people aged 44 to 66 years from different U.S. regions, who did not have a cancer history and were either toothless or agreed to undergo a dental exam prior to the study.  

The researchers found that the association between severe periodontitis and total cancer risk was stronger in men compared to male participants without gum disease or diagnosed with only mild periodontitis. In particular, the study noted an 80 percent increased risk for colorectal cancer in patients without teeth and an increase in lung cancer for nonsmokers who reported having periodontitis.

For more information, visit cancer.gov.