Teeth plaque could be causing cancer

If you have lots of plaque on your teeth, you could be at greater risk of developing cancer, according to researchers who have found a direct link between oral hygiene and the disease.

People with the highest amount of plaque were nearly twice as likely to have cancer.  In women, it was most likely to be breast cancer.

Researchers from Helsinki University found a direct correlation between amounts of plaque and cancer risk when they looked at oral hygiene and cancer rates in 1,390 people.

Source:  BMJ, 2012;2:e001083

One of the best ways to improve dental hygiene in addition to brushing and flossing is a practice called oil pulling.  This involves swishing 10mls of oil, such as sunflower oil, around the mouth for 15 to 20 minutes first thing in the morning before eating or drinking.  The oil should be spat out after this time as it will be full of bacteria and other pathogens that have accumulated during the night.  The website, www.oilpulling.com gives more details.


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