the right smile

Educating Patients on their Oral Health Options

Dentist Sandy Springs: Dental Plaque Cancer Indicator?

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mature women smiling3New research suggests that people who have more plaque on their teeth and gums are more likely to die prematurely from cancer.  According to the June 11 edition of BMJ[1] Open findings this is only a correlation, not a cause and effect relationship.

In the study, nearly 1,400 Swedish adults were followed for 24 years.  During this time, 58 of the subjects died, 35 from cancer.[2]  Specifically, people with high amounts of dental plaque were 79 percent more likely to die prematurely.  That said, the absolute risk of any person with dental plaque dying early of cancer was low.[3]

Although the study did not examine the causal connection, underlying inflammation may be the common denominator.  Calling the new findings “interesting,” Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said they raise more questions than they answer.

 “This study does not answer the question of whether or not dental plaque leads to cancer death,” he said. “We only know how many people died, so we don’t know if there is an increase in the incidence of cancer among people with plaque, or if, perhaps, it renders them more susceptible to treatment-associated infection.”[4]

While insurance companies only pay for two visits, we think the growing evidence of how your oral health care relates to your global health indicates that you should have your teeth cleaned at least 3, if not 4 times per year.  As long as I have been practicing, I have been ethically driven to inform you of your needs.  Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t take an oath of professionalism.  Learn more about healthy teeth and gums at the American Dental Association.  If we can be of service or answer any of your oral health questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or schedule a complementary consultations.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328



[1] Formerly the British Medical Journal

[2] June 11, 2012, BMJ Open


[4] Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta


Author: Drs. Novy and ZoAnna Scheinfeld and Hanna Orland

Our team provides your family with contemporary, rewarding, and comfortable dental care. In our Sandy Springs office, patients come first. Everything we do, from the office design, to our clinical and management training, to the friendly atmosphere we foster in the practice, is for your pleasure and satisfaction. Dr. Scheinfeld, a graduate of Emory University School of Dentistry and her associates understand the importance of balancing health and beauty for an amazing smile. Our comprehensive studies in cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, and general dentistry, supported with state-of-the-art technology, deliver the strong, healthy, beautiful smile you deserve—the smile you'll feel comfortable sharing with your world.

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