If you haven't been careful about your oral health, may be it is time.
According to a study published in the Journal Cancer Research, bacteria present in the mouth that leads to gum disease may also increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common type of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide, as per the report.
Since the disease is often not discovered until it has reached an advanced stage, five year survival rates range from about 15 to 25 percent worldwide.
"Esophageal cancer is a highly fatal cancer, and there is an urgent need for new avenues of prevention, risk stratification, and early detection," said Jiyoung Ahn, associate professor at New York University in the US.
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Previous research has shown that periodontal disease caused by certain oral microbiota has been associated with several types of cancer, including oral and head and neck cancers.
For the study, researchers collected oral wash samples from 122000 participants in two large health studies. In 10 years follow-up, 106 participants developed esophageal cancer.
"Our study indicates that learning more about the role of oral microbiota may potentially lead to strategies to prevent esophageal cancer, or at least to identify it at earlier stages," Ahn said.
It is imperative to maintain oral health to avoid serious health hazards in the later stages. Here are some foods that can help maintain oral hygiene in more ways than one.
Apple is known to be a great source of fiber, which acts as a great cleansing agent. It also contains malic acid that boosts saliva production, hence removing bacteria from the mouth, thus preventing any gum disease. The fibrous texture of apples also helps in improving the health of your gums.
2. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are known to be abrasive in texture and therefore, they can help remove plaque and stains present in your mouth. The omega-3 fatty acids present in walnuts and flax seeds can also help lower the risk of gum disease that can completely destroy your teeth.
3. Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C rich foods help in protecting your gums from getting any infection. So add more oranges, berries and lime in your diet.
Thyme is known to have strong anti-bacterial properties. You can prepare thyme in tea and further cure any gum disease that may cause harm to your overall oral hygiene.