Gum Disease In HIV Patients May Cause Cancer

Oral bacteria produced from gum disease creates a particular environment in the mouth. A new study found that two types of bacteria present in mouths battling gum disease can produce a byproduct that can lead to Kaposi sarcoma-related tumors. Read on as your Mansfield dentists Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris share the study’s findings.

Gum Disease and Kaposi Sarcoma-related Mouth Tumors

Researchers from Case Western recently announced that the byproducts from two bacteria occurring with gum disease can lead to Kaposi sarcoma-related (KS) mouth tumors. In an article appearing in The Journal of Virology, the researchers discuss their results and their hope that this study might lead to saliva testing for the bacteria. If a patient who was given the saliva test tested positive for the bacteria, she could then be treated and monitored for cancer before the cancer spreads.

What is Kaposi Sarcoma?

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a cancer that begins in the cells that line lymph or blood vessels. It typically presents as skin lesions or lesions inside the mouth. KS is quite dangerous if the lesions appear in the liver, lungs, or digestive tract. Before the AIDS epidemic, KS was quite rare, primarily afflicting older men of Eastern European or Mediterranean heritage, young African men, or organ transplant patients. According to the American Cancer Society, the most common type of KS now occurs in HIV patients. HIV patients are not able to fight against infections because of their compromised immune systems and thus develop KS lesions. Two types of bacteria have been targeted for producing byproducts that can bring about KS tumors. Individuals suffering from gum disease possess large amounts of these bacteria in their saliva. The researchers’ main conclusion from their study is that gum disease is a risk factor for Kaposi sarcoma tumors in HIV patients.

About Your Mansfield Dentists

Mansfield Dental Associates rely upon their years of experience, training, and cutting-edge technology to offer patients expert dental care at each and every visit. They listen to each patient’s concerns and offer gentle, informative guidance about future treatments. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call (817) 473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.