Caries protect against throat cancer?

Recently, the surprising results of an American study were published, from which it was found that in people with caries, cancer of the organs of the head and throat occurs less often.

Scientists believe that the cause of this unique phenomenon could be lactic acid bacteria, which effectively suppress cancer cells. “For us, this discovery is completely unexpected, as it is widely known that dental caries and periodontal disease are considered as a sign of poor health,” said Dr. Tezal, one of the scientists leading the study, from New York University.

However, she emphasizes that this does not mean that from now on we should not brush our teeth and visit the dentist.

The main conclusion of this research consists in observing the delicate balance of the oral microflora, for this purpose one must give up smoking, avoid uncontrolled intake of antibacterial preparations and, as far as possible, observe a relatively constant determined diet.

Healthy nutrition, good hygiene, frequent use of a brush, paste and floss to clean teeth, help to maintain this delicate balance.

399 patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer and 221 healthy volunteers participated in the study. The researchers found that people with less healthy teeth had a 32% lower risk of head and neck cancerthan those with healthy teeth.

Such risk factors as gender, age, smoking and alcohol consumption were excluded. “It is important to note that the absence of teeth or the presence of caries are not associated with the development of oncological diseases in these areas,” Tezal points out.

Caries cause the reproduction of lactic acid bacteria, streptococci, actinomycetes and bifidobacteria.

These bacteria are essential for digestion, improve the condition of mucous membranes and increase systemic immunity. Decreasing the amount of these microorganisms can cause the development of many chronic inflammatory diseases, allergic reactions, obesity, and an increase in the number of cancer cells. ” – Dr. Tezal also points out.

Studying the properties of these bacteria can become a starting point for the development of new methods to fight tumors.

However, Dr. Joel Epstein, a representative of the American Dental Association, who was not involved in the study described above, notes that age and cause of tooth loss were not taken into account. teeth.

“The authors do not prove causation. In addition, even if the relationship between caries and the reduction of cancer is proven, which is unlikely, we must not forget about the other inflammatory reactions accompanying caries and infections, which can lead to the development of many serious complications,” notes Dr. Epstein.

The obtained data require a more detailed study on a larger number of patients. Another expert, Dennis Kraus, director of an oncology center in New York, agrees with Epstein that the scientific findings are preliminary, but they can be used as an idea for developing new methods of prevention and treatment of cancers of the head and neck organs.

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