When thinking about colorectal cancer and wanting to know the cause, dental health and tooth decay are certainly not something people think about. However, researchers have found in studies that a common bacteria that causes tooth decay affects a specific type of cancer cell. It has been found that the same bacteria helps to encourage the grown of colorectal cancer.
Common Bacterium, Fusobacterium Nucleatum
The bacterium is known as Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) helps in the growth of dental, periodontal plaque as researchers find it also increased the growth of colorectal cancer in approximately one-third of cases studied. A molecule FadA adhesin triggers a pathway in the colon cells, which stimulates cancer cell growth.
Interaction with Annexin A1
It has been found that F nucleatum interacts with certain cells that have the protein Annexin A1. FadA adhesin expressed by F. nucleatum stimulated cancer cell grown via interaction with Annexin A1. This loop between the bacteria present and the cancer cell can explain why F. nucleatum will only enhance the growth of a cancer cell and does not affect a healthy cell.
A positive feedback loop has been found to worsen cancer’s progression. A genetic mutation happens first then as F. nucleatum hits, the cancer signaling pathway is accelerated, which speeds up tumor growth.
As researches examined RNA data from 466 colorectal cancer patients, those with the higher prognosis had higher levels of the protein Annexin A1. They concluded that there is a link between Annexin A1 and aggressive cancer growth.
The findings bring them closer to slowing down or curing the growth of colorectal cancer. By measuring the levels of the protein Annexin A1, they are hoping to be able to tell how aggressive the patient’s cancer is. Also, it is the hope to offer medications that will inhibit the protein, which can slow the progression of cancer as well.
Colorectal Cancer and Poor Oral Health
Researchers are not suggesting colorectal cancer is caused by inadequate oral health. However, one must know that poor oral health can affect one’s entire body. Good dental hygiene can help to prevent periodontal disease, infection, heart disease, as well as manage sugar levels for diabetic patients. Some studies suggest that gum disease in women puts them at a higher risk of premature births or the birth of small babies.
Experts are also finding a close connection between mental health illnesses and poor oral health. Those suffering from psychological issues show oral hygiene neglect which can result in gum disease and tooth decay. Those with anxiety tend to suffer from dental phobia and have infrequent visits to the dentist. Eating disorders such as bulimia can cause dental erosion because of the acid in the vomit. Bipolar issues can cause vigorous brushing of the teeth, which can result in brushing away the enamel. Various mental health medications produce side effects such as dry mouth.
Everyone needs to visit their dentist regularly. Contact Dr. Paul Feldman at Suburban Essex Dental in West Orange, New Jersey, Essex County to schedule your dental appointment. Let us effectively help you to take control and manage your dental hygiene the right way.