Poor Oral Health May Up Liver Cancer Risk: 5 Diet Tips To Ensure Oral Hygiene

Poor oral health is associated with a 75 per cent increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

NDTV Food Desk (with inputs from IANS)  |  Updated: June 18, 2019 15:21 IST

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Poor Oral Health May Up Liver Cancer Risk: 5 Diet Tips To Ensure Oral Hygiene

Do you take your oral health seriously? It's time you should. According to a latest study, not taking enough care of your oral hygiene may put you at risk of liver cancer. The findings revealed that poor oral health is associated with a 75 per cent increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer. The study was published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal. For the study, the researchers studied the association between oral health conditions and the risk of a number of gastrointestinal cancers, including liver, colon, rectum and pancreatic cancer.

Models were applied to estimate the relationship between cancer risk and self-reported oral health conditions, such as painful or bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and loose teeth.

"Poor oral health has been associated with the risk of several chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes", said the study lead author Haydee WT Jordao from Queen's University Belfast.

The results revealed that out of the 469,628 participants from the UK, about 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) six-year follow up. What is important to note here is that in 13 per cent of these cases, patients reported poor oral health. 

The researchers also said that participants with poor oral health were more likely to be younger, female, living in deprived socio-economic areas and consumed less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

The biological mechanisms by which poor oral health may be more strongly associated with liver cancer, rather than other digestive cancers, is currently uncertain. One explanation is the potential role of the oral and gut microbiome in disease development. "The liver contributes to the elimination of bacteria from the human body," Jordao said."When the liver is affected by diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or cancer, its function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm," he added. 

5 Diet Tips To Ensure Healthy Oral Hygiene

1. Floss regularly, especially if you have eaten something sweet. Make sure you brush your teeth well before going to bed and first thing in the morning.

2. Stay hydrated. The less water you drink, more are the chances of plaque accumulation and gum disease.

3. Include calcium-rich foods in your diet. It is a  good idea to drink a glass of milk everyday, if you are not lactose intolerant. The calcium in milk helps fortify your teeth and the protein casein helps reduce acid levels in the mouth, which further limits risk of gum corrosion. 

4. Limit your junk food intake as it tends to accumulate in corners of your teeth and leads to cavity and gum corrosion.

5. Have enough nuts and seeds. They are abrasive in nature, which helps remove plaque from your teeth. The high quantum of omega-3 fatty acid also help fortify gums.

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(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

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