Chronic Periodontal Disease: A Proxy of Increased Cancer Risk

Eunice Virtanen, Per-Östen Söder, Jukka Meurman, Leif C. Andersson, Birgitta Söder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We investigated statistical association between long-term periodontal disease and cancer in a group of patients followed-up for 24 years with the hypothesis that chronic infection affects carcinogenesis. We made a prospective study of 1676 30-40-year old subjects in Stockholm, clinically examined in 1985. The data were combined with Swedish Cancer Registry in 2009. All cancer types were registered according to WHO International Classification of Diseases. Associations between cancer and dental parameters were studied using multiple logistic regression analysis with background variables and known risk factors for cancer. Age, gender, dental visits, education, income, socioeconomic status, working history, smoking, dental plaque, calculus, gingival bleeding, periodontal disease indicated by extracted or extruded molars were the independent variables. 286 subjects had periodontal disease in 1985. Of these, 18 subjects (6.3%) got cancer by 2009. In women breast cancer dominated (50%) while in men the types of malignancies were scattered. Logistic regression analysis showed that if a subject had periodontitis with extruded/extracted first molar tooth (d. 46) of the mandible in 1985, the risk of cancer increased with odds ratio (OR) 8.43, if the second molar (d. 47) was missing, OR for cancer was 6.11. To conclude chronic periodontal disease indicated by extracted or extruded molars associated statistically with elevated incidence of cancer.

Keywords- Cancer, periodontal disease, oral infection, chronic infection, extracted molars, missing teeth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27702408
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer Research
Issue numberIssue 1
Pages (from-to)1127-1133
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 313 Dentistry

Cite this