Gum Disease Can Increase Risk for Tongue Cancer

Dentists may focus on the health of teeth, but the health of all oral tissues is also a concern. Therefore, it comes as big news to dentists and male patients alike when a study showed that chronic gum disease could increase a man’s risk for tongue cancer whether or not he smokes. Researchers think that periodontal viruses and bacteria may be toxic to surrounding cells and cause changes that pave the way for oral cancer. Inflammation may also play a role. Because this association between periodontitis (gum disease) and tongue cancer is based on preliminary evidence, more research needs to be conducted to confirm the link. In the meantime, gum disease prevention is a worthy pursuit in and of itself.

Also note tongue cancer symptoms include difficulty and/or pain while chewing and swallowing and a persistent sore throat.

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