As we all know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, breast cancer remains the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women – nearly 1 in 8 will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetimes.
Surprisingly, recent studies have found a link between breast cancer and oral health. In fact, The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a survey of over 3,000 people and found that individuals with chronic periodontal disease had a high occurrence of breast cancer. These people were actually 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer.
So, as we focus on annual breast check-ups during October, let’s also refocus on proper oral health. The routine is simple:
Brush twice a day and use fluoride toothpaste.
Make sure to come to our office for a professional cleaning and check up every six months
And keep this top of mind: more than one third of people being treated for breast cancer can develop complications that affect the mouth. Women who are beginning cancer treatment should visit us at least one month before their treatment begins. Most chemotherapy agents suppress white blood cells, which protect against infection. Chemo can also affect saliva production, leading to dry mouth and serious dental implications. Oral tissues can become inflamed and gums may bleed more easily. All dental work should be completed and teeth should be cleaned prior to any cancer therapy. Call us to discuss how to keep oral health at its optimum during this difficult time.