Oral environment and cancer

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Abstract

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Japan. A rapid increase in cancer mortality is expected as Japan is facing a super-aged society. Many causes of cancer are known to be closely linked to life style factors, such as smoking, drinking, and diet. The oral environment is known to be involved in the pathogenesis and development of various diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. Because the oral cavity acts as the bodily entrance for air and food, it is constantly exposed to foreign substances, including bacteria and viruses. A large number of bacteria are endemic to the oral cavity, and indigenous oral flora act to prevent the settlement of foreign bacteria. The oral environment is influenced by local factors, including dental plaque, tartar, teeth alignment, occlusion, an incompatible prosthesis, and bad lifestyle habits, and systemic factors, including smoking, consumption of alcohol, irregular lifestyle and eating habits, obesity, stress, hormones, and heredity. It has recently been revealed that the oral environment is associated with cancer. In particular, commensal bacteria in the oral cavity are involved in the development of cancer. Moreover, Candida, human papilloma virus and Epstein-Barr virus as well as commensal bacteria have been reported to be associated with the pathogenesis of cancer. In this review, we introduce recent findings of the correlation between the oral environment and cancer.

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Kudo, Y., Tada, H., Fujiwara, N., Tada, Y., Tsunematsu, T., Miyake, Y., & Ishimaru, N. (2016). Oral environment and cancer. In Genes and Environment (Vol. 38). BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41021-016-0042-z

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