Cleaning your teeth properly could prevent cancer, according to a new study. It looked at the link between cancer deaths and dental hygiene in a sample of 1,390 people between 1985 and 2009.
At the beginning of the study, participants were quizzed to discover their risk factors and the state of their dental hygiene. Of the 1,390 people, 58 had died by 2009, including 35 deaths from cancer. It was observed that these 35 individuals had a significantly higher amount of dental plaque than those who were still living.
The average age of the cancer deaths were 61 for women and 60 for men, both generally considered premature.
However, the study couldn’t explain the exact link between poor dental care and cancer and the researchers weren’t sure if it was a causal factor or not.
"Based on the present findings, the high bacterial load on tooth surfaces and in gingival pockets over a prolonged time may indeed play a role in carcinogenesis,” explained the study authors. But they also suggested the link could be that those with poor dental health are subject to poorer general health and more infections, which could increase the body’s susceptibility to cancer. The team recommended more studies to discover whether it could be a direct cause.
Either way, take care of your teeth, or you might regret it!