A new Swedish study reported in a peer reviewed journal that over the course of 24 years of observation, adults with a missing molar tooth had significantly elevated odds for having any form of cancer.
This association emerged after allowing for more conventional risk factors, including periodontal health.
It gives rise to a possible pathway of infection and inflammation between dental decay and other diseases — a pathway which has been established in other studies looking at predictors of coronary heart disease, stroke amongst others.
The Facebook crowd quickly and overwhelmingly said this association “makes sense”.
Predictably, some of the dental crowd will say “LOL, cause or effect!”
So who is right? What is the point of these studies which are increasing in number and credibility.
I think the point is that the community wants to learn more about the connections between health and disease, wants credible information, and wants to be involved in its care.
Studies like this one from Sweden are just part of the mix.