Two Interesting Papers Linking Oral Health and Salivary Microbiota to Gastrointestinal Cancer

by Lawrence Jones, Ph.D

Two interesting reads in the scientific literature linking oral health to various types of gastrointestinal cancers investigated. Scientific scholars will review the data but more importantly, how will the general public utilize any new insights into the importance of oral health and overall diet and nutrition? One of the studies touched on below, Dr. Jordão and associates (2019) investigates “469,628 participants and based on their findings, 4,069 developed gastrointestinal cancer during the (average) six-year follow up”.

An earlier paper from 2012, UCLA researchers Farrell, et al. links oral microbiota to various types of gastrointestinal cancers. Salivary microbiota between patients with pancreatic cancer and healthy control subjects revealed a significant variation of salivary microflora. Farrell, et al.observed that salivary microbiota can be an informative source for discovering non-invasive biomarkers of diseases for the future. Their study divided into three phases: (1) microbial profiling using the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray (2) identification and verification of bacterial candidates by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and (3) validation of bacterial candidates by qPCR.


Jordão, H. W., McKenna, G., McMenamin, Ú. C., Kunzmann, A. T., Murray, L. J., & Coleman, H. G. (2019). The association between self-reported poor oral health and gastrointestinal cancer risk in the UK Biobank: A large prospective cohort study. United European Gastroenterology Journal, 2050640619858043

Farrell, J. J., Zhang, L., Zhou, H., Chia, D., Elashoff, D., Akin, D., … & Wong, D. T. (2012). Variations of oral microbiota are associated with pancreatic diseases including pancreatic cancer. Gut61(4), 582-588.


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