Knoxville Dentist on Breast Cancer and Oral Health

Breast cancer awareness is heightened in the month of October. You have probably noticed a plethora of pink symbols out there. You may have friends on Facebook sharing their pink photos. All of this solidarity is a heart-warming symbol of how caring our society can be. For this reason, your Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, would like to point…

Breast cancer awareness is heightened in the month of October. You have probably noticed a plethora of pink symbols out there. You may have friends on Facebook sharing their pink photos. All of this solidarity is a heart-warming symbol of how caring our society can be. For this reason, your Knoxville dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach, would like to point out the potential oral-systemic connection between breast cancer and gum disease.

Oral-Systemic Health Evidence

If you have gum disease, you’re in the majority.  Approximately 80% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) instituted a research study from 1985 to 2001. The data they collected linked gum disease to a possible increase in breast cancer risk. Whether or not gum disease is directly related to cancer and other health issues has sparked debate over the years, but facts show that the same bacteria that cause gum disease are found in other parts of the body, implicating these germs in conditions such as heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis.

Meticulous Oral Hygiene Recommended for Patients with Cancer

Patients undergoing chemotherapy or treatment for any types of malignancies, including breast cancer, may experience heightened oral health issues. Among the side effects to look out for are:

  • Toothaches with no visible tooth damage
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throats
  • Inflammation and infection in your mouth
  • Strange tastes in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth)

If you are battling cancer, you surely have a lot on your mind. However, try to keep up with your regular six month checkups with your Knoxville dentist. Your body is likely to be more vulnerable and susceptible when you are in this weakened state. Keeping your mouth as germ free as possible will make you better able to fight and heal.

Visit your Knoxville Dentist

Are you concerned with your dental health? Visit your Knoxville dentist. You can reach us by calling our 37919 dentist office  at 865-329-7815. We welcome patients from Knoxville and the greater metropolitan area.