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Is periodontal disease a risk factor for oral cancer?


Aim This study aimed to investigate periodontal disease as a non-genetic risk factor for oral cancer.

Design Case-control study.

Patient population Two hundred patients, regardless of periodontal and adverse habits (smoking and alcohol) status, in the age group of 18-90 years were included in this institutional study. One hundred patients with histologically confirmed oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) were included in the case group, while the control group had 100 patients without any oral cancer.

Methods Multivariable examination to obtain socioeconomic and lifestyle risk factors was performed with a questionnaire for both the groups and compared statistically. Additionally, oral status (periodontal stage, clinical attachment loss, periodontal pocket depth, bleeding on probing, Silness-Loe plaque index, and decayed, missing, and filled teeth [DMFT] index) of both the groups was recorded and compared statistically.

Results A significant correlation was found between age, gender and development of oral cancer. There was a significant co-relation between alcohol intake and oral cancer development. Surprisingly, there was no correlation between smoking habits and passive smoking with oral cancer development in the case group. Overall, 72.1% of case group patients had Stage 4 periodontitis, whereas 51.6% of control group patients had Stage 2 periodontitis. A significant correlation was found between the incidence of oral cancer and the stage of periodontitis.

Conclusion The findings of the study support the hypothesis that periodontitis is an independent risk factor for oral cancer.

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Correspondence to Kunaal Dhingra.

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Dhingra, K. Is periodontal disease a risk factor for oral cancer?. Evid Based Dent 23, 20–21 (2022).

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