Gums and Cancer

images-1Articles suggesting an association between an early and terrible death from cancer and routine dentistry have been doing the rounds on Facebook for some time.  It’s an interesting subject, especially if you’re neurotic, middle aged and have had a root canal.

There is a degree of controversy surrounding the issue, with some denying the link and claiming the procedure is safe and some being more cautious.  For the neurotic and middle aged there has been debunking.


That said there are similar associations between gum disease and heart disease which tend to bear out a link between poor oral health and serious degenerative illness.


The gum in Chinese medicine is a dumping ground for a pathological threat that the body doesn’t want to enter the internal organs.  This could be an environmental toxin, a virus, mould or bacteria, or potentially something related to emotional trauma that can’t be processed and must be suppressed.

The body has a number of such dumping grounds, the sacrum and pelvis is one, the shoulder blades is another.  If you have a regular clicking in a shoulder, then in Chinese medical terms this would indicate an area of contained micro-inflammation that were it to enter the interior of the body would spread and threaten the delicate internal organs.

An example of this would be a patient I saw a few years ago who had Crohns disease that went into remission, but who then developed a frozen shoulder.  In terms of Chinese medical theory, his body had succeeded in holding inflammation away from the gut.

The gum and cheek bone is a location into which a lot of the meridians dump rather than allow entrance into the body.  If you have surgery on the gum or destabilise it structurally you then run the risk of latent inflammation being released into the body, particularly as surgery involving anaesthetics and trauma weakens the immune response.

In western medical terms the issue is anaerobic bacteria in the gum being released down into the body where they can busy themselves disrupting your health in their self generated oxygen supply.  This accords nicely with Chinese medical theory.


To maintain gum health oil pulling is reputedly effective.  This involves holding a tablespoon of high grade sunflower, sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for twenty minutes before spitting it out and washing the mouth with hot salt water. This will draw toxins from the gum and enhance gum health.

Obviously good dental hygiene is a sensible precaution.

If you have to have dental intervention then go into it rested, well hydrated and rest after it and your body has a better chance of recovering and containing what has been released.

In the long term sinus problems may turn into issues in the gum.  Your sinuses are a route out for pathogens and a barrier to their entrance deeper into the system.  Blocked up and infected sinuses may threaten the wider system and need looking after.

If there’s something bad smelling and rotting in your mouth where possible, treat it or get it out.