Why Is This Important?

Through the years scientists have discovered a conclusive link between gum disease and both cancer and heart disease. “Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease increases the risk of pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Dominique Michaud of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the research. Men with a history of periodontal disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer than men with no such history.

People with increased severity of periodontitis with recent tooth loss had the greatest risk. People with periodontal disease have an increased level of inflammatory markers such as C reactive protein (CRP) in their blood. These markers are part of an early immune system response to persistent inflammation and have been linked to the development of pancreatic cancer. It is the high levels of carcinogenic compounds that are present in the mouths of people with periodontal disease that increases risk of pancreatic cancer.[1] And what is the most prevalent carcinogenic compound in many people’s mouths? Mercury from dental amalgam! Selenium binds strongly with mercury protecting us from its damaging effects.

[1] “A Prospective Study of Periodontal Disease and Pancreatic Cancer in US Male Health Professionals.” Dominique S. Michaud, Kaumudi Joshipura, Edward Giovannucci, and Charles S. Fuchs. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2007 99: 171-175; doi:10.1093/jnci/djk021