Do you brush your teeth? You will after reading this
Do you sometimes forget to give your teeth a quick scrub in the morning or in the evening? Well, having dirty teeth might just increase your risk of cancer.
According to scientists from Sweden (those lads know their stuff), poor oral hygiene may increase your risk of dying from cancer. They say that an increased amount of dental plaque has been linked with premature death by cancer. Scary stuff if you believe what you read.
The researchers looked at the health of 1,390 randomly selected adults aged in their 30s and 40s from Stockholm for over 20 years, starting in 1985. They were questioned about certain factors that were likely to increase their cancer risk, such as smoking and their affluence.
However, their mouth hygiene was also looked at to find out their levels of dental plaque, tartar, gum disease, and tooth loss. Seems like a weird thing to look for, but we can be glad the researchers did.
After 24 years of checking in on the volunteers, 58 patients had died with 35 of them dying from cancer. The researchers discovered that there was a significantly higher amount of dental plaque on the teeth and gums of those who died compared to the survivors.
The average age of death recorded was 60 for men and 61 for women. The women would have been expected to live around 13 years longer, and the men an additional 8.5 years. So this is why they're saying 'premature' death.
Now don’t go pulling your teeth out in fear of getting cancer. The researchers did advise caution when reading the figures, which according to them, do not prove outright that dental plaque can cause cancer. Phew…
"Our study hypothesis was confirmed by the finding that poor (mouth) hygiene, as reflected in the amount of dental plaque, was associated with increased cancer mortality. Further studies are required to determine whether there is any causal element in the observed association."