Could Dental Plaque Increase The Risk For Cancer?
It might be astonishing to find out how one thing can be linked to another. There are several examples; some are whimsical but others should cause concern, like the connection between dental plaque and the risk of cancer.
What is Plaque?
To put it simply, plaque is a thin blanket of bacteria that sticks to your teeth. It is sometimes called a biofilm or micorbial plaque. This thin blanket of bacteria first appears as a colorless and sticky deposit on your teeth that can be removed when detected. The problem is that sometimes this film goes unattended for too long at which point it turns into tartar, which is a hardened biofilm that is much harder to remove.
Ignoring plaque can lead to issues such as tooth decay or even gingivitis. The reason plaque is so detrimental is because it is attempting to form a protective layer for bacteria to do their deeds. This allows the oral pathogens to break down the layers of your teeth, such as your enamel. This is accomplished with the acid that bacteria produce with the consumption of certain foods like processed sugar.
How Does This Connect to Cancer?
There is a lot to worry about in this life, but this is one risk that you do not have to take. Studies have shown that an increased amount of dental plaque can put you at risk of cancer.
What happens is the biofilm usually forms close to your gumline, which means the bacteria housed within the biofilm have access to your blood stream. You already know that bacteria produce acids to harm your teeth, but they also release bacterial toxins and enzymes. Some of these toxins and enzymes make their way into the blood stream, which is ultimately what puts you at risk of cancer, unnecessarily.
How can Your Dentist Help Prevent This?
Preventing this possibility starts with your dentist. Dr. Dan Casel has an excellent team including great hygienists that can provide you a dental cleaning to help keep this risk low. You should visit a hygienist at Florida Premier Dentistry at least twice a year, which means that making sure plaque is not formed is an easy option that is up to you.
There are a few more things you can do to try to prevent plaque from forming. You should stick to a good teeth cleaning regimen that should include flossing and brushing. You should also make sure you rinse your mouth after eating, especially sticky foods.
Remember that reducing your intake of starchy or sugary foods might also be a good idea. Yes, some of these foods are delicious, but bacteria find them irresistible. This does not mean you need to eliminate them completely; just try to limit the foods as much as you can. Concentrate on foods that help clean your teeth like dark leafy greens or even apples. You could also consider trying natural sweeteners like raw honey that is antibacterial and not processed.
You can simply ask Dr. Casel or his team to formulate a plan to keep plaque away and maintain your oral health.