The main purpose was to evaluate the association between periodontal disease and the incidence of breast cancer in a prospective study of 3273 randomly selected subjects aged 30-40 years at baseline. Breast cancer incidence was registered from 1985 to 2001 according to the WHO International Classification of Diseases criteria. At baseline, 1676 individuals also underwent a clinical oral examination (Group A) whereas 1597 subjects were not clinically examined but were registered (Group B). The associations between breast cancer, periodontal disease, and missing molars were determined using multiple logistic regression models with several background variables and known risk factors for cancer. In total 26 subjects in group A and 15 subjects in group B had breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer was 1.75% in subjects who had periodontal disease and/or any missing molars, and 0 in subjects who had periodontal disease but had no missing molars. For periodontally healthy subjects with no missing teeth the breast cancer incidence was 1%. For group B the respective incidence was 0.94%. Female gender (odds ratio (OR) 13.08) and missing any molar in the mandible (OR 2.36) were explanatory variables for breast cancer. Of the subjects with periodontal disease and any missing molars in the mandible 5.5% had breast cancer in comparison to 0.5% of the subjects who had periodontal disease but no missing molars in the mandible (P < 0.02). Chronic periodontal disease indicated by missing molars seemed to associate statistically with breast cancer.