According to the results of a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, periodontal disease is associated with an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Researchers conducted an eight-year follow-up analysis of 51,529 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and found 875 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in that group from 1986–2012. They identified a significant increase in risk among men with a history of periodontal disease at baseline. When they classified the risk by subtype, risk was elevated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

The researchers concluded that “men were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma many years after developing periodontal disease, suggesting that periodontal disease is not likely a consequence of cancer.” Rather, they hypothesized that both conditions could develop from a common mechanism that causes immunosuppression or immune system dysregulation.