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Dental plaque linked to cancer

Posted by Joanne Mellor

New research conducted in Sweden has discovered a link between dental plaque and cancer.

In information that may be included in dental marketing campaigns, experts found an association between plaque and an increased risk of early cancer death, but not a cause-and-effect relationship.

According to Dr Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, the study raises more questions than answers, although he stated it is “interesting”, reports Health 24.

Dr Brian Franks, clinical director of dentistry for Bupa Health and Wellbeing, previously explained dental plaque will build up if teeth are not brushed properly on a regular basis.

“We don’t know if there is an increase in the incidence of cancer among people with plaque, or if, perhaps, it renders them more susceptible to treatment-associated infection,” Dr Lichtenfeld said.

Saul Presser, a dentist in private practice in New York City, added he believes certain cancers can be related to some viruses and other microorganisms, which may be present in plaque.

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