A new study has begun to suggest that in adults, cavities may prevent cancer. Nobody wants to have a cavity, but it might make the chances of getting certain types of cancer less likely. This is especially the case when it comes to cancers of the neck and head. Researchers compared 399 people with different types of neck and head cancer with 221 people that were cancer free and healthy.
Dr. Mine Tezal with the University of Buffalo and head researcher looked at the data and found that those in the group that were cancer free and healthy, but had cavities were at 32 percent lower risk for developing cancers in the head and neck. Marital status, drinking, smoking habits and gender, were also taken into account.
The study was done at the dental and maxillofacial prosthetics clinic of a comprehensive cancer center. The researchers have said that the study suggests that there is an association between dental cavities and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
The question for many is why would cavities help to reduce the chances of certain types of cancers? It seems that it might have something to do with the amount of lactic acid bacteria found in cavities. This type of bacteria are similar to that found in yogurt, which may provide essential protection against neck and head cancers.
It’s a bit of a catch 22 – cavities make people feel pain and can cause it to be difficult to eat, but the bacteria present in them may help to keep cancer cells from developing. Dr. Tezal has said that if people have gum disease, it is a different case entirely, and that team noticed that those with gum disease actually had an increased risk of developing neck and head cancer.
So, are excessive amounts of sugary snacks and drinks, and not brushing and flossing good for you? Likely not, but maybe adding a bit more yogurt and healthy bacteria is a good option for your overall health, and it can save your teeth. So, enjoy health sources of the right bacteria, but take care of your mouth to prevent other health problems from occurring.