It's important to visit the dentist for a variety of reasons, especially since dentists can detect a variety of diseases. For example, research published in the journal Gut found that certain types of mouth bacteria found in gum disease may be a sign of pancreatic cancer.
This is actually a positive finding, because it suggests that there may be a way to detect this disease earlier. The sooner a cancer is discovered and treatment can begin, the higher a patient's survival rate is.
This is not the only form of cancer that gum disease has been linked to. Studies have found a connection between the oral condition and a higher incidence of breast cancer. Research has also shown that nearly 90 percent of Americans over 40 have tooth decay, which can lead to gum disease if it goes untreated.
These findings should encourage people to visit the dentist regularly, as a dental exam may lead to early detection of more serious illnesses.
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