Can Rough Edges On Teeth Cause Oral Cancer?
It has been established for many years that smoking and consumption of alcohol have an association with a higher than normal incidence of Oral Cancer- cancers that appear in the mouth, and Oropharyngeal Cancer- cancers of the upper throat. Now some new research conducted in Queensland’s Princess Alexandra Hospital during 2014 suggests that “Chronic Dental Irritation” may also contribute to the development of cancers of the mouth and throat in both smokers and non-smokers.
The study reviewed the records of 881 patients with cancer of the mouth or throat who had been admitted to the hospital for treatment between 2001 and 2011.
Chronic Dental Irritation
Chronic Dental Irritation is the term used to describe long-term irritation of the soft tissues lining the mouth. An example where this might occur is where a denture has a slightly rough edge or doesn’t fit properly: the irritation caused by the rubbing of the denture against the inside of the mouth over months or years is a type of chronic dental irritation.
This study referred to a previous study that had found a relationship between chronic dental irritation and the presence of mouth cancer and reported that:
“This chronic irritation included sharp teeth, damaged or poorly formed fillings, and poorly fitting dentures.”
The research stated:
“The majority of oral cavity cancers in the nonsmoker occur where teeth or dentures can rub.”
They commented that chronic irritation is sometimes a key factor in the development of tumours in other parts of the body.
The study concluded:
“Oral cavity cancers occur predominantly at sites of potential dental and denture trauma, especially in nonsmokers without other risk factors. Recognising teeth irritation as a potential carcinogen would have an impact on prevention and treatment strategies.”
Other Interesting Findings From This Study
The study also saw evidence that supported the findings of a number of earlier studies, namely:
- Women are more prone to developing oral cancer than men, even when they don’t smoke
- Oral cancers are more likely to develop on the side of the tongue of young people and where dentures rub in older people
You can read the article here.
Screening For Oral Cancers And Their Causes
When you attend a checkup appointment at Corinna Dental,whether it’s your first checkup appointment at our practice or your regular checkup, you will notice that our dentists take a lot of time to examine your teeth, gums, mouth and neck. They are checking for many signs of dental or oral disease, and part of the examination is a screening for signs of early or established cancer.