Poor dental hygiene and gum disease have been linked to increased risk of other cancers including prostate cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, gallbladder cancer, melanoma and pancreatic cancer and of several general health conditions including pneumonia, stroke, heart disease, problem pregnancy and Diabetes mellitus.

Expert warns against inserting hard objects in the mouth of convulsing patients(Opens in a new browser tab)

This is the submission of a health specialist, Dr Abia Nzelu adding that prevention and early diagnosis of periodontitis are very important not only for the patients’ oral health, but also for their overall wellbeing.

According to him, periodontitis is a serious bacterial infection of the gum that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports the teeth.

“In the early stages, it often presents as bleeding or swollen or painful gums (gingivitis) and sometimes as halitosis, bad breath.

“The main causes of periodontal disease are poor oral hygiene and tobacco use. The bacteria most often associated with periodontitis, treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis, enter the bloodstream through the gum.

“Later, the bacterial infections become associated with co-infection by viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus and Cytomegalovirus. These viruses act together with the bacteria to suppress the body’s immune response, leading to a proliferation of cancer cells in the body.

“Fortunately, it is possible to prevent the occurrence of periodontitis which may predispose to cancer. The best way to achieve this is by following the 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 rule of dental hygiene, including: brush your teeth 2 times a day – last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes each time, use two tools for personal oral hygiene, a fluoride-containing toothpaste and medium textured tooth brush, each time you brush clean between the teeth with dental floss or an interdental brush, which ensures that bacteria is removed from all areas of the mouth”, he said.

Bad breath:Physician warns against gum disease(Opens in a new browser tab)

However, he advised that people should go for a dental checkup at least 2 times a year and during the dental checkup, they have their teeth professionally cleaned, scaling and polishing and ensure that their  children  start brushing their own tooth and visiting the dentist from the age of two.

Vanguard

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.