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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 09, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Certain strains of oral bacteria have been implicated in a variety of health problems, including not just gum disease but also dementia and heart disease.
"A recent study adds another serious health problem to the growing list," says Dr. Ben Amini, a San Francisco dentist who is concerned about the link between oral bacteria and aggressive colon cancer.
According to researchers at Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine, F. nucleatum, which is also linked to tooth decay, can speed the progression of colon cancer. The study, which was published in the "EMBO Reports" journal, examined the information of 466 patients with colon cancer. They identified increased Annexin A1 expression in some of them. Annexin A1 is a protein that stimulates the growth of cancer. In mice, the presence of F. nucleatum stimulates Annexin A1 production, which results in a positive feedback loop that attracts more oral bacteria while feeding the cancer cells. In the study, the patients with greater Annexin A1 expression were more likely to have a worse prognosis in all cases, regardless of their age, sex or cancer stage.
In the U.S., colon cancer is one of the top causes of deaths by cancer. While scientists have known genetic mutations were linked to colon cancer, this study demonstrated that the presence of bacteria can also be involved. In fact, about a third of colon cancers are related to the presence of F. nucleatum. Researchers will continue to study the link, potentially identifying new treatment and prevention options, especially for aggressive cancers.
"A good dental hygiene at home and a regular check up by your dentist is very important. The oral bacteria grow in a biofilm called plaque, and attach themselves on the surface of the teeth, and in time, migrate below the gums. They must be routinely removed professionally by the dentist or the dental hygienist," says Dr. Ben Amini, the founder of CitiDent, a multi disciplinary dental facility in the San Francisco Financial District. If you have not seen a dentist in over a year, or have not had a check up or cleaning in some time, you should not delay any longer and call your dentist. If you have moved or don't have a dentist, have a friend or a family member recommend one to you. Because what is happening in your mouth could be spreading to other parts of your body, and it may increase your risk for other medical issues," says Dr. Amini.
Dr. Ben Amini is the founder of CitiDent, a multidisciplinary dental practice in San Francisco. Dr. Amini is a lecturer and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, UCSF School of Dentistry and is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry.
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