Oral Health and Cancer--Is There a Connection?

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: General Health, Supplementation
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Researchers recently linked dental plaque to premature death from cancer. The oral health and causes of death of 1,390 individuals was documented from 1985–2009. Those with the highest amounts of dental plaque were almost two times as likely to have cancer as those with the least amount of plaque. The type of cancer varied among men, while breast cancer was the most common in women. 

Oral bacteria form dental plaque. And, an increase in dental plaque is often the result of lower levels of vitamin D. Our saliva contains several compounds that defend against pathogenic bacteria in the mouth. One of these compounds is cathelicidin, which is regulated by vitamin D levels. 

So, a buildup of dental plaque is an early warning of low levels of vitamin D in the body. Dental cavities and chronic periodontal disease is the next phase…a more advanced warning of a vitamin D deficiency. It’s not much of a leap to understand how increased dental plaque could help predict an increased risk of developing cancer. 

For this and many other reasons, I suggest that everyone get 2,000–5,000 IU of vitamin D every day as a supplement.

Now it's your turn: Do you take your D?

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