Gum Disease and Pancreatic Cancer

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Periodontal disease may more than double your risk of pancreatic cancer. The participants in one study were followed for 16 years and the researchers found those with gum disease had a 64 percent increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Periodontal disease can affect nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population to some degree. More evidence is showing that this localized gum infection is linked to a host of systemic conditions. While many of the studies have shown strong connections, some links have not yet been established as “causal.”

If you think you might have gum disease, call the Babylon gum disease specialists of Babylon Dental Care at (631) 983-6665 right away to make an appointment. Let us help you reduce your periodontal disease and keep it under control to preserve your health.

Table Of Contents

    Signs of Periodontal Disease

    signs of periodontal

    Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that develops when a bacterium causes inflammation, also called gingivitis. One trigger is when food or plaque is trapped between the gum and the bottom of the tooth.

    Without proper daily dental care, periodontal disease can seriously damage the tooth and soft tissue. This may ultimately lead to the loss of your tooth. Some of the common symptoms that you may find with periodontal disease include:

    • Bad breath or bad taste that doesn’t go away
    • Blood when flossing or brushing teeth
    • Bleeding or tender gums
    • Change in the fit of partial dentures or in your bite
    • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
    • Loose teeth or tooth loss
    • New spaces between teeth
    • Pain while chewing
    • Puffy or swollen gums
    • Pus between the gums and teeth
    • Red, dusky red, or purple gums
    • Sensitive teeth

    In addition to poor dental care, other factors increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. These include:

    • Crooked teeth
    • Defective fillings
    • Diabetes
    • Dry mouth
    • Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives
    • Heredity
    • Poor oral hygiene
    • Poor-fitting bridges or partial dentures
    • Smoking
    • Stress
    • Underlying immune-deficiencies—e.g., AIDS

    If you recognize any of these symptoms of periodontal disease or have an increased risk from one of the listed factors, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Your dentist can perform an examination to determine whether you have gum disease.

    They will also make recommendations about your oral care and overall health to help reduce your risk of diseases that are commonly associated with periodontal disease.

    What Is Pancreatic Cancer?

    Cancer is usually named by the organ in which it starts. When cancer cells begin to grow out of control in the pancreas, it’s called pancreatic cancer. There are two main types of pancreatic cancer. The pancreas sits behind the stomach. It’s about six inches long, two inches wide, and is shaped a little bit like a fish.

    The pancreas is made up mostly of exocrine cells. These form glands and ducts that produce pancreatic enzymes. The enzymes are released directly into the intestines where they help digest foods. Cancer that develops in the exocrine cells is called adenocarcinoma and is the most common type of pancreatic cancer.

    The pancreas also has endocrine cells that are important in the production of hormones. The pancreas makes glucagon and insulin, both of which help control blood sugar levels. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are less common and start in the endocrine cells.

    Unfortunately, the symptoms of pancreatic cancer do not show up early in the disease. By the time you experience symptoms, the disease is usually advanced. If you notice any unexplained symptoms, see your doctor who can check for conditions, including pancreatic cancer, that may explain your symptoms. People with advanced pancreatic cancer may notice:

    • Blood clots
    • Changes in stool
    • Dark-colored urine
    • Fatigue
    • Itchy skin
    • Pain, usually in the abdomen that radiates to the back
    • Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
    • Light-colored stools
    • Nausea
    • New or worsening diabetes
    • Pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas)
    • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

    It is difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer early as the organ is located deep in the abdomen. Doctors cannot feel a tumor during a physical examination and symptoms are not always obvious.

    Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat. Surgery offers the best option for controlling this cancer. However, when it is diagnosed at later stages, patients are not usually eligible for surgery. Pancreatic cancer can also become metastatic and spread to nearby lymph nodes. It can then spread to the liver, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and the lungs. If it is treated very early, there is a higher chance of survival.

    How Is Gum Disease Linked to Pancreatic Cancer?

    Data has shown a correlation between pancreatic cancer and gum disease. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a link between bacteria commonly found in the mouth and the development of pancreatic cancer.

    Participants with significant levels of the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis in their mouth had a 59 percent higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than those who did not have the bacteria. A second study published two years later found similar results. A higher risk of pancreatic cancer was also related to a second oral bacteria, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.

    Currently, there is not much known about what triggers the development of pancreatic cancer. However, the lead researcher from the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association believes that inflammation triggered by the bacteria in the mouth may consequently cause inflammation in the pancreas. A secondary possibility is that the bacteria is a marker for cancer-causing inflammation and is not a causative agent.

    How Dental Care Can Help

    gum disease preventionGood oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Your first line of defense is to maintain oral health by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once daily. Flossing helps remove debris left behind after eating that your toothbrush cannot reach.

    Every six months you should also see your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar buildup in hard-to-reach places where bacteria can grow and trigger periodontal disease. If you have already been diagnosed with gum disease, or notice that you have the symptoms, you should discuss this with your dentist. Your dental professional can recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help reduce inflammation.

    Schedule Your Appointment with Babylon Dental Care Today

    It’s never too late to begin to correct gum disease. At Babylon Dental Care, we will discuss your options for treatment and good oral hygiene with you. Contact Babylon Dental Care at (631) 983-6665 if you have concerns about your oral health or need a dental cleaning and check-up. We’re here to help diagnose any problem and get you started on a proper course of treatment.



    “Amazing experience getting my teeth cleaned at Babylon Dental Care. Melody is fantastic and provided a top-notch painless service. Highly recommend.”

    Ron S


    “Absolutely incredible team. From the very moment you walk in you're greeted with kindness and people who want to help you. When I was asked how everything was I literally told them I was speechless. Having had terrible experiences as a kid with dentistry I wasn't sure if the nice things I've heard and read would live up to my expectation. I'm so glad they met them, and even went above and beyond what I had imagined. They offered me several options (a comfort menu) for things I could ask for to help make the time go by easier and with less anxiety.. all for free! If you have been holding off due to how long it's been and how anxious you might be then take this as your sign to look into coming here. I really truly am so glad I overcame my fear and made my appointment, they are just *that* good”

    Brian K


    “Really love this office, they are so kind and non judge mental, I have dealt with so many judge mental dental offices and I have felt totally at ease here. Truly grateful to find them. Dr David is so gentle and for the first time ever I don’t have an anxiety attack coming in to the dentist. The ladies in the front are a pleasure as well, Beth is a breathe of fresh air.”

    Angela P


    “I had my teeth cleaned by Melody and she did an incredible job. She is gentle, and caring. My teeth look and feel amazing! I normally hate going to the dentist but now look forward to my cleanings with Melody and this location! Everyone is this office is so kind and sweet from the moment you walk in.”

    Gillian W


    “This was my first time at this Dental office. I went in for a cleaning and dental exam. The office is Clean and modern. I felt comfortable and welcomed right from the start. My hygienist 'Melody' was great! I feel that she was very thorough, talked me through everything she was doing and made recommendations for improving my routine at home. My dental exam with Dr. Diamond was just as pleasant. I liked that she also took her time and I didn't feel rushed. All-in-all it was a good experience. The entire team at the clinic displayed a high level of professionalism and made me feel comfortable throughout my visit.”

    Brenda S


    “Love this office and all staff! From the front desk, to the hygienist, the dentists and the lovely ladies that check you out, it’s a top notch experience. I trust them 100%!”

    Marian P


    “Dr. David and the entire staff at Babylon Dental Care are amazing! Every single person who works there is so kind compassionate. I’m a very nervous patient and Dr. David and his assistant Amber made me feel so at ease. I highly recommend Babylon Dental Care especially if you’re an anxious patient!”

    Elisabeth D


    “From the moment I walked in it was a great experience. The facility is modern and clean. I was treated extremely well. And I really don't like going to the dentist but I'm actually looking forward to my next visit. Everyone I met was great! Thank you for making me feel comfortable.”

    Tom M


    “Everyone in the Patchogue office are wonderful! Kind, caring, and attentive. I have always hated dentists but I am never anxious to come there. I can honestly say I have NEVER felt this at ease. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience for me. I won’t ever hesitate to go to the dentist again!”

    Susan G


    “First visit and everyone was so nice and made the transition to a new dentist seamless! Corinn did a great cleaning and explained everything as she was doing it!”

    Kayleigh P


    “I would highly recommend Babylon Dental Care. The Drs and Staff are all very friendly and professional. They take the extra time to explain the procedures which are truly done gently and with care. I saw Dr. Knakal and Dr. Diamond. The lobby is comfortable and the dental work areas are immaculate. Also, I have never had to wait very long before being seen!”

    Regina B


    “First time here, never felt so comfortable at the dentist. Super clean and friendly staff. Corrin and Dr. Brown are absolutely wonderful! Very thorough and knowledgeable.”

    Cara P


    “This is quite possibly the most impressive Dental office I’ve ever seen. All the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The office is so gorgeous through out. I loved my hygienist, she was very knowledgeable and very thorough and informative about being proactive with your hygiene habits. Dr Hsu was amazing. I highly recommend him. Very professional and explains everything he’s doing and that you’re comfortable during the visit. I’m really glad I found this office and my new Dentist.”

    Angel W


    “I have been using Babylon Dental Care for almost 10 years. Dr. Brown, Jen, Melody and Michelle are incredible. They are always concerned with the patients well being and health making it a different experience. They treat you like family, not a patient. I use them for dentistry and their silent night therapy. Thank you for taking care of my family. Great job team!”

    Chuck M


    “I've been coming here for about a year and a half. I have always had Francesca and she's great. She's always professional, friendly and honest with me. They have a pretty good system with the walkie-talkies too which makes the process more or less pretty smooth. I also really appreciate that they are transparent up front with cost, not many places are like that in my experiences.”

    Scott A


    “Professional and courteous staff, every time I come here I’m more than satisfied. Dr Wrann & Dr Knakal are exceptionally good. I would highly recommend Babylon Dental!”

    Nick S


    “Very professional staff and the hygienist Melody is amazing. The dentist are very thorough and they explained every little bit of details of your procedure. They make you feel so relaxed and welcoming. I would recommend Babylon Dental Care to anyone.”

    Verona B


    “I recently moved approximately 300 miles away, I continue to make the trip back to Babylon Dental Care. My hygienist Paige could not be kinder, friendlier or professional. I have been having issues with bone loss in my jaws and now it's time for implants. Dr. Knakal has been outstanding. I know I am in the best hands. Everyone I have dealt with at BDC from the receptionists to the checkout personnel are awesome! I will be continuing to make the trip for all my dental care.”

    Pete R


    “Babylon Dental Care is an amazing practice! I had an issue with my teeth and they took me immediately. Their friendly and compassionate staff walked me through each step and in a matter of a week I had that tooth extracted and my flipper ready for every day use! You can’t even tell I have it in! The office is spotless and they even have Netflix! How cool is that! You’re welcomed as soon as you walk in and they made me feel so comfortable. Dr. Golo and Dr. Knakal took such good care of me and I would recommend them to anyone! The office is so convenient and literally across the street from my home so it doesn’t get better than that! Thank you Babylon Dental!”

    Joseph S


    “I've never had such an amazing experience at a dentist. They are so kind, so caring, so friendly, and really make you feel appreciated and not just like a patient number. I am blown away by the care I received here, and will be recommending them to everyone I know!”

    Jessica C


    “I cannot adequately express my appreciation for this practice. Best dental practice ever! Everyone is so kind, caring and respectful. I don't dread going to the dentist anymore. I've had a lot of work done and am extremely pleased. They are very gentle and strive to keep you pain free. Very professional from reception on up. I highly recommend Babylon Dental. Would give them 10 stars if I could!”

    Debra B


    “Had the zoom whitening treatment and all I can say is wow!!”

    Beth L


    “At Babylon Dental Care, “care” is given from arrival to check out. I was anxious; it had been a few years since my last filling. From the moment I walked into the exam room, Karen comforted me. She explained the process, answered my questions and talked with me to keep me calm. Dr. Wrann was excellent! I did not have any pain before, during or after the procedure. So happy! Thank you to a truly great team!”

    Kristina F


    “I went there during covid as my dentist was shut down by the pandemic. They really do everything they can to make you feel good about your experience. Melanie who cleans my teeth as well is wonderful and does a great job everything by the time I leave I don't want to go. Excellent place for dental work. They go above and beyond.”

    Connor L