The Link between Gum Disease, Breast Cancer, & Lifestyle

bowl of flower petalsBy now you’ve probably heard something about the risk gum disease poses to your heart health. After all, plaque is plaque.

But did you know that gum disease is also associated with increased prevalence of breast cancer? That was the finding of a 2011 study out of Sweden.

Researchers followed over 3000 women in their 30s for more than 16 years. Those with chronic gum disease were found to be more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer when compared to those who reported healthy gums.

Why should they be related? According to another paper published around the same time,

Periodontal disease is associated with an increased production of reactive oxygen species which, if not buffered sufficiently, cause damage to the host cells and tissues. The byproducts of the oral inflammation enter the bloodstream, which may enhance cellular proliferation and mutagenesis, allowing for the development and spread of cancer.

While further studies are expected, we’d like to point out another similarity. Both gum disease and breast cancer can be addressed through lifestyle changes.

One major proponent of taking this route is nationally known surgeon, author, and natural health expert Dr. Christine Horner. Most of her techniques involve small changes to daily routine, with a focus on what we eat, how we sleep, and how we move.

Unsurprisingly, these are techniques that have been shown to have a positive impact on oral health, as well.

In the following interview, Dr. Horner talks with esteemed journalist Sheryl McCarthy about preventing breast cancer naturally. She maintains that natural and Ayurvedic approaches for cancer prevention have been widely studied and underutilized by most doctors. She shares the importance of particular foods, herbs, and supplements, and discusses how to incorporate them with some lifestyle modifications. All-in-all, a must see…

…and a great reminder that, day in and out, our bodies respond to lifestyle habits. This interaction is not only complex; it’s scientifically proven to affect our oral and systemic health – for better or for worse.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not powerless when it comes to your health. Surround yourself with a supportive healthcare team, and use them as guides on your journey to health.

Image by Louise Leclerc

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