The "superbugs" in the navigational waters of Rio are cause for concern
Oral bacteria linked to gum disease were badociated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The researchers also found two types of bacteria in the mouth that can reduce the risk of developing an esophageal tumor.
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Here's another reason why you need to brush your teeth and floss regularly: findings from a new study revealed that gum bacteria are linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
Gum bacteria are linked to higher odds of esophageal tumors  In the new study, researchers tracked the oral health of 122,000 people over a 10-year period. The results showed that the presence of bacteria badociated with gum disease can increase the risk of cancer. The oral bacterium called Tannerella forsythia, which is badociated with gum disease, was badociated with a 21 percent increased risk of developing esophageal tumors.
Good oral bacteria
The types of bacteria Streptococcus and Neisseria, on the other hand, were linked up to a 24 percent reduction in the risk of esophageal cancer. Neisseria breaks down the toxins found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunately, smokers have smaller amounts of these bacteria compared to those who do not smoke.
"The study suggests that there are some oral bacteria that can contribute to the development of this highly deadly cancer, but also, and very importantly, suggests that some bacteria can provide a protective effect," said Robert Kelsch, of Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York
"Knowing which bacteria are good and which are bad could lead to preventive treatments or serve as predictors of risk of developing this cancer."
Gum disease has already been badociated with another risk to health. Researchers from previous studies found that it is related to an increased risk of heart disease.
Experts in esophageal cancer who reviewed the new study, however, said the findings did not demonstrate a cause-and-effect link to esophageal tumors. However, specialists are advised to consider evaluating the oral cavity and the digestive tract of patients to detect early esophageal disease.
Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common form of cancer and one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, so only 15 to 25 percent of patients have five-year survival rates.
Good oral health, which includes regular brushing of teeth and dental visits can provide protection against the disease.
"Depletion of the commensal genus Neisseria and the species Streptococcus pneumoniae was badociated with a lower risk of CAD," the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in the journal Cancer Research on December 1.
"Abundance of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalas tended to a trend with increased risk of ESCC In general, our findings have potential implications for early detection and prevention of CAD and ESCC."
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