A Queen’s University Belfast study has found a link between poor oral health and increased risk of liver cancer. Reporting in the paper, “The Association Between Self-Reported Poor Oral Health and Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk in the UK Biobank: A Large Prospective Cohort Study,” published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, researchers note poor oral health is associated with a 75% increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma—the most common form of liver cancer.
Of the 469,628 participants in the United Kingdom study, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) 6-year follow-up. In 13% of these cases, patients reported poor oral health. The team examined the association between oral health and risk of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver, colon, rectal, and pancreatic cancer. Mathematical models were applied to estimate the relationship between cancer risk and self-reported oral health conditions, which included painful or bleeding gingiva, oral ulcers, and loose teeth.