Cancer: The simple daily habit that slashes your chances of dying from cancer by 80%

Cancer: The simple daily habit that slashes your chances of dying from cancer by 80%

Cancer: Grahame Morris highlights urgent backlog in diagnoses

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Experts have warned that cancer survival rates could start to slump as the NHS backlog continues to loom. Preventing the disease is a relatively straightforward process that involves careful intake of food and drink. But focusing solely on diet could detract attention from other heavily influential health factors, such as oral hygiene. In fact, some research states that one condition of the gums could substantially increase the risk of dying from cancer.

Mounting evidence suggests that good oral hygiene is pivotal for longevity, as the bacteria harboured in our mouth can set the stage for many types of disease.

Though it remains difficult to quantify how many years of life good hygiene could add to your life, some experts suggest flossing could add up to six years.

In fact, Doctor Michael Roizen explains that flossing correctly for 60 seconds a day could add an additional 6.4 years to your life specifically.

This is because bacteria that is lodged between the teeth in the mouth can stir up an infection in the mouth that could increase the chance of heart disease by 72 percent, according to the Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer. But this could impact cancer risk too.

READ MORE: NHS facing unprecedented cancer crisis as Omicron boosters accelerated: ‘Lives at stake’

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute and the University of Helsinki reported in the Medical Journal Open that people with high levels of dental plaque are 80 percent more likely to die prematurely of cancer than those with little plaque.

Data that was gathered for two major long-term health studies probing the relationship between gum disease and cancer made the alarming discovery.

Researcher Mingyang Song, assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, confirmed that the link between the two conditions was significant.

He said: “Participants with periodontal disease and a higher number of teeth lost had a higher risk of developing the two gastrointestinal cancers, even after adjusting for other major risk factors.

More than 98,000 women were included in the Nurses’ Health study, while over 49,000 men took part in the Health Professionals Follow-up study.

Findings revealed that individuals with periodontitis who lost no teeth had a 50 percent increased risk of stomach cancer, while those who’d lost one or more teeth had a 68 percent increased risk.

Researchers believe it is inflammation caused by gum disease that boosts cancer risk.

In fact, people with periodontitis tend to have higher systemic inflammation, which is one of the hallmarks of cancer.

Other theories suggest that the bacteria harboured in the mouths of those with gum disease could be contributing to cancer.

What’s more, academics believe the longer gum disease is left untreated, the greater the risk of cancer may become.

Bupa UK says that 90 percent of adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree, even if only in small amounts.

Warning signs of gum disease include gums that bleed when tooth brushing and flossing and persistent bad breath.

Gums that have pulled away from the teeth, or are loose could also be signalling an infection.

The bacteria that cause periodontitis usually results from poor hygiene, which allows plaque, a film of bacteria, to build upon the teeth and harden.

This bacteria contains pathogens that are able to spread from the mouth to other paths of the body, destroying tissue in their wake.

The condition has been shown to correlate with a higher risk of other neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s and dementia as well.

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