The Korea Herald


Is dental hygiene linked to premature death?

By Korea Herald

Published : June 12, 2012 - 14:22

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Failing to brush your teeth regularly could increase the risk of dying prematurely from cancer, scientists claim.

According to researchers, one in five cancers is affected by dental plaque which plays a key role in infection and inflammation.

A Swedish research team analyzed the health of 1,390 adults from Stockholm for 24 years and found that those with the most bacteria on the surface of their teeth and gums had 80 per cent increased risk of premature death.

The study tracked the health of 1,390 randomly selected adults from Stockholm for 24 years, starting in 1985, and found that according to the levels of plaque on the teeth and gum surface, women would have been expected to live up to 13 years longer, and the men 8.5 years.

The original dental plaque index in those who died by 2009 was found to be higher than in those who had survived. They had values of 0.84 to 0.91, indicating that the gum and teeth surface had been covered with plaque more so than the survivors who recorded levels between 0.66 to 0.67.

All the participants were in their 30s and 40s at the start of the monitoring period.

Study leader Professor Birgitta Soder, of dental medicine at the Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, admitted that the findings do not prove a causal link between cancer and dental plaque, as poor dental hygiene could merely be an indicator of other lifestyle factors linked to cancer.

The study results were published in the online journal BMJ Open.

By Sim Guk-by
Intern Reporter


<관련 한글 기사>

양치 안 하면 조기 사망한다고?

치아 관리를 제대로 하지 않는 것이 암 발병 시 조기 사망하는 확률에 직접적인 영향을 미칠 수 있다는 연구 결과가 발표됐다.

스웨덴의 한 연구팀은 스톡홀름 출신의 성인 1,390명의 건강 및 치아 위생 상태를 24년 간 분석한 결과, 연구를 시작한 1985년 이후로 사망한 58명이 여성의 경우 평균 13년, 남성의 경우 8.5년 더 오래 살 수 있었다는 사실을 발견했다.

사망자의 경우 치아 표면에 세균 막이 0.84에서 0.91로 드러난 반면 생존자들은 그보다 낮은 0.66에서 0.67을 기록했다.

연구팀은 그러나 조기 사망과 치아 위생 관리에 직접적인 인과 관계가 아닐 수 있다는 사실을 인정하면서, 치아의 위생 상태가 단지 암 관련 다른 생활 습관을 보여주는 지표에 불과할 수도 있다고 밝혔다.