Buckhead Dentist: Breast Cancer and Oral Health Care

angelina-jolieStudies show a link between breast cancer and dental health.   After heart disease, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States.  You may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer if you have poor oral health or periodontal disease.  The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a survey of over 3,000 women and found that individuals with chronic periodontal disease had a higher occurrence of breast cancer.   Given that about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime,[1]  many women’s lives could be saved if breast cancer was diagnosed earlier, and early diagnosis could be achieved if there were more and easier opportunities to do so.

The method of early diagnosis is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but researchers found that the protein levels in saliva have shown the potential to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of breast cancer.  Salivary testing has some real advantages over blood testing.  The collection of saliva is safe, non-invasive, and collectable without causing a patient any pain or discomfort.  Dentists would be the appropriate health care provider to take periodic saliva samples during regularly scheduled visits.   Properly integrated into the examination process, this would aid patients and physicians before, during, and after diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

The use of saliva testing would be an annual adjunct bench mark in women’s annual health care.  Patients would still need to undergo routine breast cancer exams, including mammography and blood tests, but there should be a greater chance of early detection with the use of all of these screening tests.

Given the links, good oral health care is very important to your global health care.  If we can be of service or answer any of your questions feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328




[1] In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer, with almost 40,000 deaths in 2011 alone.