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Can the Bacteria in Your Mouth Cause Cancer?

Is Cancer Triggered by Bacteria in Your MouthImproper oral hygiene can cause gingivitis, tooth decay, and tooth loss, as you probably know. But did you also know that bacteria caused by poor dental care may also be a contributing factor in the development of systematic diseases such as heart disease, meningitis, spinal inflammation, and even cancer?

The Bacteria/Cancer Connection

Two recent studies published in the online journal Cell Host & Microbe suggest that a certain type of oral bacteria might trigger the immune response and cancer cell growth responsible for colorectal cancer.

These studies theorize that an imbalance between the healthy bacteria that we all carry in our guts and mouths and an unhealthy group of bacteria called Fusobacterium trigger the growth of cancerous cells, colon cancer cells in particular.

Researchers also found that a high number of benign tumors housing Fusobacterium eventually go on to become cancerous, which suggest that Fusobacterium contributes to the early stages of cancer development.

A separate study conducted by Canada’s BC Cancer Agency found that, left untreated, the Fusobacterium in our mouths can travel to our digestive systems, where they can then spur the development of colorectal cancer.

What This Means for You

The discovery of this oral bacteria/cancer connection reinforces just how important it is to take care of our oral health. Although the research suggests a connection between oral bacteria and cancer, we all carry healthy bacteria in our mouths as well. The important thing is to keep unhealthy bacteria in check and healthy bacteria supported with the following proper dental care techniques:

  • Brush thoroughly with a soft bristled brush twice daily
  • Floss once a day
  • Eat a  balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks and drinks
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride
  • Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash
  • Schedule dental cleanings every six months and attend to all dental issues immediately

Your Dental Health

By practicing good oral hygiene, you can keep not just your teeth healthy, but possibly your entire body as well. If you have any questions about your dental health, Dr. Kenneth J. Wolnik and any one of our expert dental hygienists are more than happy to answer them. If you’d like more information, or have any dental concerns you wish to discuss with us, please make an appointment or contact Dr. Kenneth J. Wolnik:

6363 York Rd, Ste 202
Parma Heights, OH 44130

(440) 888-5055


Office Hours
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 1:00pm

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