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There are many reasons why people should take proper care of their teeth. Poor dental health may lead to gum disease and other oral problems that can cause serious issues that may spread throughout the rest of the body. For example, a recent study conducted by Brown University researchers suggests that there may be a connection between oral bacteria and pancreatic cancer.
The scientists found that study subjects who had high levels of antibodies for strains of infectious periodontal bacteria had an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
"This is not an established risk factor," said Dominique Michaud, who is co-lead author with Jacques Izard, of the Forsyth Institute and Harvard University. "But I feel more confident that there is something going on. It's something we need to understand better."
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, pancreatic cancer is often in the advanced stages when it is found, so many tumors cannot be removed by surgery. Risk factors for this disease include diabetes, smoking and long-term inflammation of the pancreas.
Since oral bacteria potentially contributes to the development of this disease, people who are at risk should be particularly stringent about their dental health.
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