Dr. Mark Espinoza, of Central Dental Care in Phoenix, Arizona, is saying that women need to be more aware of the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer. While breast cancer might not seem like it would have an association with periodontal disease, studies have shown that breast cancer and gum disease are closely related. A Swedish study, of more than 3,000 patients, concluded that women may be more than 11 times more likely to suffer from breast cancer if they have gum disease. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States. Currently, 80% of people in the United States suffer from gum disease.ADDITIONAL READING ...What the medical journals are publishing about the mouth, the bugs, and the body Dr. Espinoza said, "As the second leading cause of death of women in the United States, this link between gum disease and breast cancer is something that every woman should be made aware of." Among dentists, periodontal disease is known as the "silent killer" for its lack of symptoms. Most people experience no discomfort, except for some spotty blood while flossing (if they do floss), until they begin to experience irreversible problems such as bone and tooth loss. And bone and tooth loss might be the least of the worries of somebody with advanced periodontal disease. Current research has linked periodontal disease to a number of systemic diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart problems, miscarriages, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis.ADDITIONAL READING ...Gum disease, bacteria, and expectant mothers "As a public health service ...", stated Dr. Espinoza, "we offer all new patients a free, thorough, periodontal examination where we examine all of the oral soft tissue for gum disease and mouth cancer." Regular brushing and flossing and visiting to the dentist regularly will help keep gums healthy. Visiting the dentist twice yearly for professional cleanings and routine exams is also important. It is important to address gum disease in the early stage to help reverse it and prevent future damage. As periodontal disease and systemic dentistry research continues, more is being learned every day about how gum disease and tooth loss can negatively impact an individual's overall physical health as well. The Karolinska Institute's study (Sweden) finding that women with gum disease were more than 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer is alarming especially when one considers how preventable gum disease can be.ADDITIONAL READING ...Infective endocarditis and antibiotic prophylaxis: Is there an association?