Not just a toothache: periodontal disease linked to breast cancer

Postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Those with a history of smoking are particularly affected.
Dr Krape Dentist - Jupiter, Florida

Women with periodontal disease have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Periodontal disease is a common condition that ranges from simple gum inflammation to a serious disease causing major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth, and loss of teeth.

It has also been associated with heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as oral, esophageal, head and neck, pancreatic and lung cancers. Previous studies have suggested that chronic inflammation could provide the link.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include genetic predisposition, smoking and hormonal changes in girls and women, which can make gums more sensitive so that it is easier for gingivitis to develop.

People with reduced ability to fight infection due to diseases such as diabetes or treatment for cancer are also prone. Medications that limit the flow of saliva can also leave the mouth vulnerable to infections.

Regular brushing, flossing and cleaning by the dentist can help to prevent it.

Researchers led by Jo L. Freudenheim, PhD, distinguished professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health in the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, NY, set out to investigate if there was any relationship with breast cancer.

The team monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women who were enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. None of the women had previous breast cancer, but 26.1% of them had periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease raises risk of breast cancer by 14%

Previous studies have suggested that smoking impacts the development of periodontal disease, so the researchers took smoking status into account.

After a mean follow-up time of 6.7 years, 2,124 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. The researchers found that among all women, the risk of breast cancer was 14% higher in those who had periodontal disease.

Among women who had quit smoking within the past 20 years, those with periodontal disease had a 36% higher risk of breast cancer.

Women who were smoking at the time of the study had a 32% higher risk of breast cancer if they had periodontal disease, but the association was not statistically significant.

Those who had never smoked had a 6% increased risk, and those who had quit more than 20 years ago had an 8% increased risk if they had periodontal disease.

Freudenheim explains:

“We know that the bacteria in the mouths of current and former smokers who quit recently are different from those in the mouths of non-smokers.”

One possible explanation for the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer is that bacteria enter the body’s circulation and ultimately affect breast tissue.

However, further studies are needed to establish a causal link.

Limitations include the fact that women self-reported their periodontal disease status, after being asked whether a dentist had ever told them they had it.

Also, since the study focused on women who were already enrolled in a long-term national health study, they were more likely than the general population to be receiving regular medical and dental care, making them more likely to be health-conscious than the general population.

Earlier this year, Medical News Today reported that blueberry extract could be used as a treatment for periodontal disease.
Written by Yvette Brazier
Published: Monday 21 December 2015


Dr. Krape, Cosmetic and Gentle Family Dentistry highly recommends this read for all women, but especially those considered high risk. It has been no secret that good dental hygiene and especially the prevention of periodontal disease is so paramount to good overall body health. However, the risk of some of the most dangerous and aggressive cancers to especially women and the rising statistics of breast cancer should not be taken lightly.

So, the best thing you can do besides living as healthy a lifestyle as possible is to always brush, floss daily and do not neglect your routine teeth cleaning appointments. It’s a plain fact that can save you the additional expenses of more extensive and serious treatments later. But, most importantly, it can actually save your life!

Dr. Krape – You and your smile means everything to us!

Canker Sores? Causes, Remedies and Prevention – Palm Beach Gardens Dentist -Educational Article

Dr. Krape Dentistry found this article written by Markus MacGill at MNT of particular value to our patients. We often receive calls or questions regarding Canker Sores. The following is a fairly in-depth article that addresses many of your questions and concerns.

Canker sores go by a number of other names as well as the main medical one of aphthous ulcers or recurrent aphthous ulcers.

These terms include aphthous stomatitis or recurrent aphthous stomatitis, aphthae and mouth ulcers.

Aphthous ulcers are easily identified in the mouth and well known, but is there anything that can be done about them? Are there times when canker sores require medical attention? This article answers these and other questions with easy-to-understand information about canker sores.

In the UK, the term “mouth ulcer” is used instead of “canker sore.” When British people are talking about common mouth ulcers, they are typically referring to canker sores and not other forms of mouth ulcer such as herpetic ulcers.

Contents of this article:

  • What is a canker sore?
  • Treatments and prevention

Fast facts on canker sores…
Here are some key points about aphthous ulcers in the mouth.

  1. Canker sores are a very common type of mouth ulcer known as aphthous ulcers
  2. Canker sores are typically round and less than a centimeter across, with a white or gray-yellow center surrounded by a red margin.
  3. Common canker sores are easy to identify by their appearance under a bright light
  4. The main symptom of canker sores is pain at the site of the ulcer, which is irritated further by certain foods and teeth cleaning
  5. While risk factors are proposed, common aphthous ulcers have no clearly identified causes
  6. Less common types of sore do have associations with other conditions that can often be addressed, such as mouth ulcers caused by herpesvirus
  7. Most aphthous ulcers do not need medical attention and can be home-treated for the symptoms
  8. Canker sores typically heal over naturally, usually within two weeks
  9. More persistent, severe, numerous or particularly recurrent canker sores should be seen by a dentist or doctor.

What is a canker sore?

mouth-ulcer-on-lower-lipCanker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers, are a common oral health complaint.
A canker sore is a type of mouth ulcer known medically as an aphthous ulcer. Aphthous ulcers are one of the most common complaints of the mouth, occurring at any age but being more likely in younger adults and women.

A first episode often occurs during adolescence, although children as young as 2 years may develop canker sores.

Many people have only occasional aphthous ulcers. The proportion of the population affected by recurrent episodes is estimated to range between 20% and 30%.

Causes of canker sores
Research has failed to give a scientific explanation of why canker sores develop, although there are known specific factors such as viral infection.

The causes of recurrent cases of canker sore – known as recurrent oral aphthous ulcers or recurrent aphthous stomatitis – are also unclear, although there are correlations with a number of factors.

A note for readers who use “mouth ulcers” to refer to what are canker sores: people more familiar with the canker term, such as in the US, may be referring to a broader group of lesions when they say mouth ulcers.

Fever blisters (cold sores)
Herpes infection leading to fever blisters can sometimes affect the oral mucosa, the same lining inside the mouth affected by aphthous ulcers.

Mouth ulcers in the broader group that are not canker sores may have a specific cause – fever blisters, for example (due to the herpes virus), or other infections and conditions.

Ulcers are sometimes associated with other conditions needing medical attention, such as inflammatory bowel disease, compromised immunity, allergies and nutritional deficiency.

All cases of aphthous ulcers lack a cure for the canker sores themselves, and treatment of the ulcers is largely confined to managing the symptoms.

While there is no firm understanding of why canker sores occur, a number of factors are thought to have some involvement, including:

  1. Hormonal changes
  2. Physical trauma (damage to the lining of the mouth, such as during dental treatment)
  3. Drugs
  4. Food hypersensitivity
  5. Nutritional deficiencies, including of iron, folic acid or vitamin B12
  6. Stress.

A report by the US Surgeon General cites up to a quarter of the general population being affected by recurrent aphthous ulcers, noting there may be higher numbers among selected groups, such as health professional students.

Symptoms of canker sores
Canker sores have clear features. The lesions cause local pain and can be easily irritated.

There are otherwise no further symptoms in simple cases, although the pain may cause feelings of being fed up with the mouth ulcer.

Common features of canker sores include them being:

  • Usually well-defined, round, smaller than a centimeter across, and usually shallow in the mouth’s lining, its mucosal surface
  • White or yellow-gray center surrounded by an inflammatory red margin.
  • In medical terms, this means an ‘erythematous halo’ is seen around a fibrinous “pseudomembrane” formed over the mucosal ulceration (eruption/destruction)
  • Often fading to gray over time
  • Usually in the front part of the mouth, on its floor, inside of the lip (labial mouth), inside of the cheeks (buccal), or under the front or sides of the tongue
  • Sometimes affecting the gums (relatively uncommon on the surface of the back part of the mouth)
  • Persistent for typically a week or two before healing.

When to see a doctor about canker sores
Common canker sores usually heal without the need for medical treatment. More severe or recurrent cases may be eased by prescribed treatments, although these do not “cure” such ulcers.

Sometimes mouth ulcers are associated with other conditions that require medical attention. Examples are inflammatory bowel disease, compromised immunity, allergies and nutritional deficiency.

As a general guide, canker sores should be brought to the attention of a dentist or doctor when they:

  • Persist for more than 2 weeks without improvement
  • Get worse – including while being treated with home remedies
  • Recur often – 2 to 3 times a year or more – or are particularly numerous or severe
  • Are accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea, headache or skin rash
  • Come with any concern at all that another condition may be related to them.

For quality cosmetic dentistry at its best, please call 561-257-2580 for all your dental needs. Serving Jupiter, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach and northern palm beach county.

Coronary heart disease patients with no teeth have nearly double risk of death!

Levels of tooth loss associated with increasing rates of death and stroke.

Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss and is related to poor dental hygiene.

Coronary heart disease patients with no teeth have nearly double the risk of death as those with all of their teeth, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

What your dentist sees!

The study in more than 15,000 patients from 39 countries found that levels of tooth loss were linearly associated with increasing death rates.

“The positive effects of brushing and flossing are well established.”

“The relationship between dental health, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, and cardiovascular disease has received increasing attention over the past 20 years,” said lead author Dr Ola Vedin, cardiologist at Uppsala University Hospital and Uppsala Clinical Research Center in Uppsala, Sweden. “But it has been insufficiently investigated among patients with established coronary heart disease who are at especially high risk of adverse events and death and in need of intensive prevention measures.”

This was the first study to prospectively assess the relationship between tooth loss and outcomes in patients with coronary heart disease. The study included 15 456 patients from 39 countries on five continents from the STABILITY trial.2 At the beginning of the study patients completed a questionnaire about lifestyle factors (smoking, physical activity, etc), psychosocial factors and number of teeth in five categories (26-32 [considered all teeth remaining], 20-25, 15-19, 1-14 and none).

Patients were followed for an average of 3.7 years. Associations between tooth loss and outcomes were calculated after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status. The primary outcome was major cardiovascular events (a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke).

Patients with a high level of tooth loss were older, smokers, female, less active and more likely to have diabetes, higher blood pressure, higher body mass index and lower education. During follow up there were 1 543 major cardiovascular events, 705 cardiovascular deaths, 1 120 deaths from any cause and 301 strokes.

After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic status, every increase in category of tooth loss was associated with a 6% increased risk of major cardiovascular events, 17% increased risk of cardiovascular death, 16% increased risk of all-cause death and 14% increased risk of stroke.

Compared to those with all of their teeth, after adjusting for risk factors and socioeconomic status, the group with no teeth had a 27% increased risk of major cardiovascular events, 85% increased risk of cardiovascular death, 81% increased risk of all-cause death and 67% increased risk of stroke.

“The risk increase was gradual, with the highest risk in those with no remaining teeth,” said Dr Vedin. “For example the risks of cardiovascular death and all-cause death were almost double to those with all teeth remaining. Heart disease and gum disease share many risk factors such as smoking and diabetes but we adjusted for these in our analysis and found a seemingly independent relationship between the two conditions.”

“Many patients in the study had lost teeth so we are not talking about a few individuals here,” continued Dr Vedin. “Around 16% of patients had no teeth and roughly 40% were missing half of their teeth.”

During the study period 746 patients had a myocardial infarction. There was a 7% increased risk of myocardial infarction for every increase in tooth loss but this was not significant after adjustment for risk factors and socioeconomic status. Dr Vedin said: “We found no association between number of teeth and risk of myocardial infarction. This was puzzling since we had robust associations with other cardiovascular outcomes, including stroke.”

Gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. The inflammation from gum disease is thought to trigger the atherosclerotic process and may explain the associations observed in the study. Poor dental hygiene is one of the strongest risk factors for gum disease.

“This was an observational study so we cannot conclude that gum disease directly causes adverse events in heart patients,” said Dr Vedin. “But tooth loss could be an easy and inexpensive way to identify patients at higher risk who need more intense prevention efforts. While we can’t yet advise patients to look after their teeth to lower their cardiovascular risk, the positive effects of brushing and flossing are well established. The potential for additional positive effects on cardiovascular health would be a bonus.”

Published by MNT:
If you are trying to find a quality cosmetic dentist with all the experience and specialists under one roof in the Jupiter, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and Juno Beach area, please contact us to schedule a free no-obligation consultation by calling: 561-257-2580.

Palm Beach Gardens offers many options for Cosmetic Dentistry

One of the largest and most populated townships north of West Palm Beach is Palm Beach Gardens with over 50,000 current residences and growing. Jupiter, Florida dominates the north county population beating Palm Beach Gardens only by approximately 7,000. Finding a great local dentist can be like throwing darts blind folded– unless you happen to receive multiple unbiased referrals from friends that happen to point you all to the same dentist. Of course, knowing people that are happy with their dentist is an excellent way of narrowing the list however, here are some very important tips that can help you in finding that perfect cosmetic dentist for your family in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter communities.

good cosmetic dentist palm beach gardens

Happy seniors couple in love with their healthy teeth.

First of all, always make your mind over to interview at least 3 recommended dentists before you choose. Secondly, do not assume anything, but ask the right questions up front.

  1. Do they have the proper education and experience behind them? Don’t be afraid to ask the doctors. The right dentist will respect and appreciate your concern.
  2. Are they using the latest that technology has to offer you? Tour the facility and see for yourself.
  3. Are the doctors and staff courteous and genuinely concerned for your needs? Are they patient or hurried?
  4. Is the practice clean and neat?
  5. How do you personally feel in the way they treat you? Do they truly listen and take the time to explain the procedures, giving you the comfort factor you are looking for?

At Dr. Krape Cosmetic Dentistry, you are not just another number. We get to know all of our patients, and they always return visit after visit, year after year. We get to meet new wives, husbands and their children as time goes on… we even see grandchildren begin to grow before our eyes.

Quaint historical office for Dr. Krape Cosmetic Dentistry Office

Quaint historical office for Dr. Krape Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Krape – Cosmetic and Gentle Family Dentistry has served the Palm Beach Garden and adjoining communities since 1968. We currently have 5 Dentists to tend to all your needs. We utilize all the latest state-of-the-art technologies and techniques, including low level X-rays, Dental Implants, Dentures, Bridges, Veneers, Root Canals, Crowns and of course all the latest teeth whitening techniques. See all of our procedure and treatment videos at: Procedure Videos

To schedule an appointment and get to know our great staff and doctors, please call: 561-257-2580, or schedule online at: Appointment