Other Cancers Linked to Gum Disease
However, it is not only oral cancer linked to gum disease. Several studies demonstrate that there might be a statistical link between gum disease and many types of cancer.
One study with a large population (more than 7000 people) from 2018 showed a 24% higher cancer risk in people with severe gum disease than those with no gum disease or mild gum disease. The strongest links with gum disease were lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
An even more extensive study (more than 48,000 men only) from 2008 showed a 14% higher overall cancer risk, with a statistically higher risk of lung cancer, kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers.
A still larger study (nearly 66,000 women only) from 2017 reported a similar increase in overall cancer risk (12%). For women, breast cancer, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, gallbladder cancer, and melanoma all saw increased risk with gum disease.
These strong statistical links are convincing, but to show a potential for causation, we need to show that there’s a mechanism by which gum disease might contribute to cancer risk.