Scientists have found that a person's mouth could provide a window into the damage caused to their lungs by smoking.
Researchers at the University of Texas discovered that cells lining the mouth reflect the molecular damage that smoking does to the lining of the lungs.
Dr Li Mao, a member of the research team, suggested that the new findings could help to spare patients and those at risk of lung cancer from some of the more invasive procedures that are used now.
Rather than undergoing a bronchoscopy, doctors can simply brush the inside of the cheek with a swab.
"Our study opens the door to enhancing our ability to predict who has higher probability of getting tobacco-related cancers," Dr Mao added.
Recent studies have also found that gum disease, or periodontitis, can contribute to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.
Scientists believe the cause of the link may be bacteria from the mouth getting into the bloodstream.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
The materials and articles published on DentalPlans.com are for informational purposes only. Although DentalPlans.com strives to be accurate and complete, the information is provided without liability for errors. DentalPlans.com does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text graphics, links, or other items contained on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims liability for errors or omissions in these materials and DentalPlans.com makes no commitment to update the information on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims all liability for the use or interpretation by others of information on DentalPlans.com. Decisions based on information contained on DentalPlans.com are the sole responsibility of the visitors, and visitors agree to hold DentalPlans.com and its Affiliates harmless against any claims for damages arising from decisions visitors make on such information.
Nothing on DentalPlans.com constitutes medical advice or other forms of advice. DentalPlans.com assumes no responsibility for material created or published by third parties linked to DentalPlans.com with or without DentalPlans.com’s knowledge.