This is an excellent video from ABC News on the relationship between gum diesase, heart disease, and pancreatic cancer:
Brushing Teeth Could Save Lives
Gum Disease Linked To Pancreatic Cancer
10:27 a.m. EST January 17, 2007
HARTFORD - Taking care of one's teeth and gums may help ward off one of the deadliest cancers, researchers said. When Harvard researchers analyzed 16 years of health information on more than 50,000 men, gum disease stood out as a risk factor for pancreatic cancer -- even after researchers factored out smoking, obesity, diabetes and other potential risks. The research was conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health.
"We found that individuals with a history of periodontal disease had about a 60 percent increase in their risk of getting pancreatic cancer," said Dr. Charles Fuchs, a cancer researcher with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
The scientists speculated that the chronic inflammation caused by gum disease might play a role. More studies were planned to confirm the link and to see if there's an oral health connection to other cancers.
"There's a lot of good reasons to take good care of your teeth -- and here's another one," Fuchs said.
Men who had both gum disease and tooth loss had the highest risk for pancreatic cancer, NBC 30 News reported.Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. More than 30,000 Americans are expected to die from the disease this year, according to the American Cancer Society.