Periodontitis, oral hygiene habits, and risk of upper aerodigestive tract cancers: a case-control study in Maharashtra, India

Bhawna Gupta, Narinder Kumar, Newell W. Johnson

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Objective: Chronic destructive periodontitis, a cause of systemic inflammation, affects some 10% to 15% of adults across the globe, with severity of disease increasing with age. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between periodontitis and oral hygiene habits and upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers. Study Design: We conducted a case-control study, which included 240 UADT cancer cases and 240 controls matched by gender and age (±5 years) from 2 different hospitals in Pune, India. In-person interviews and intraoral examinations were conducted for all patients. Results: Severe periodontitis and greater than 5 missing teeth were associated with a significant risk of UADT cancers (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.25, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12–4.91; adjusted OR 3.28, 95% CI 1.95–5.49). Among the self-reported oral hygiene habits, dental checkups only at the time of pain was associated with an elevated risk for UADT cancers (adjusted OR 4.12; 95% CI 2.63–6.47). Topical application of mishri (black powder obtained by roasting and grinding tobacco) on gums (adjusted OR 3.06; 95% CI 1.75–5.35) and toothbrushing frequency less than once daily; (adjusted OR 2.09; 95% CI 1.27–3.45) were also associated with an elevated risk. Furthermore, the habit of ever chewing tobacco was associated with an elevated risk of severe periodontitis. Conclusions: Severe periodontitis is associated with an elevated risk for UADT cancers, and tobacco chewing strengthens this association in this population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Early online date2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


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