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More Cavities May Mean Lower Risk for Throat and Neck Cancer

CBS News reports on a study in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery that has found that people with more cavities are significantly less likely to be diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The study recruited 399 patients who had been diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma between 1999 and 2007 and compared them to healthy controls. They found that, amongst people with a greater amount of cavities, cancer rates were lower and that amongst those with fewer cavities, cancer rates were higher. Scientists suggest that this effect may be due to the fact that the bacteria that builds up on teeth and causes cavities may actually have a beneficial immune response effect that protects against cancer.

Read it in CBS News.

Read the study in JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.