October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. With that being said, we want to help spread the word and also discuss the connection between breast cancer and oral health.
The World Health Organization conducted a 16 year study that linked gum disease with an increase in risk of breast cancer. Common signs of gum disease are red, puffy gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing.
In the United States alone, there are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year. These patients have to deal with multiple health issues including challenges with their dental health. Women with breast cancer often develop xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to dental cavities due to the lack of saliva which helps remove plaque and food debris. To combat dry mouth, breast cancer patients often will place a hard candy or mint in their mouth. These candies/mints often have sugar which leads to tooth decay. We recommend having sugar-free candies or mints.
Ask your dentist about the best way for you to maintain dental health during treatment.