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15 December 2017 Last updated 17 minutes ago

Why brushing your teeth could reduce your risk of throat cancer

Brushing the teeth File photo Brushing the teeth

Brushing your teeth could slash your risk of developing throat cancer by more than one-fifth, new research suggests.

Higher levels of certain bacteria that are linked to gum disease increase an individual's likelihood of developing the condition by 21 percent, a US study found.

It is unclear whether it is the bacteria themselves or gum disease that leads to foodpipe tumors.

Researchers argue their findings highlight the importance of good oral hygiene, including brushing teeth twice a day and regular dentist visits, to maintain people's dental health, as well as avoiding other health complications.

Throat cancer is the eighth most common from of the disease and the sixth leading cause of related deaths worldwide, according to the researchers.

Yet due to the cancer often not being discovered until it has reached an advanced stage, five-year survival rates range from just 15 to 25 percent.