Objective: Infection and inflammation play a role in carcinogenesis, and highly prevalent oral and dental diseases have been significantly linked to some types of cancer. This article reviews current literature in this area.
Materials and methods: Open literature review using the PubMed database and focused on publications from 2000 to 2010.
Results: Numerous potential mechanisms are implicated in the oral disease/carcinogenesis paradigm, including infection- and inflammation-associated cell pathology and microbial carcinogen metabolism. Poor oral hygiene is associated with oral cancer, but there is also evidence of a possible link between oral or dental infections and malignancies in general.
Conclusion: Oral infections may trigger malignant transformation in tissues of the mouth and other organs. However, scientific evidence to date remains weak and further well-conducted studies are warranted before cancer can be properly added to the list of oral infection-related systemic diseases.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.