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Periodontal disease can increase risk of precancerous lesions in stomach

According to a study conducted at the New York University College of Dentistry and New York University School of Medicine, an over-load of bacteria in the oral cavity associated with periodontal disease could increase an individual’s risk for stomach cancer. The researchers looked at the association between periodontal pathogen colonization and the potential risk of developing precancerous lesions that may predict stomach cancer. 35 full-mouth exams were conducted and all had precancerous lesions potentially predictive of stomach cancer, and 70 exams were also conducted and lesions were not present. They found that the patients with precancerous lesion were more likely to experience bleeding gums when examined and also exhibited less bacterial diversity in their saliva. Researchers exclaimed that a decreased bacterial diversity in dental plaque and not flossing teeth regularly were significant predictors of increased risk of precancerous gastric lesion. Researchers concluded that periodontal bacterial and oral cavity bacteria diversity are “important factors contributing to a potentially increased risk of developing precancerous gastric lesions.”