Cancer risk among gingivitis and periodontitis patients: a nationwide cohort study

QJM. 2014 Apr;107(4):283-90. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hct248. Epub 2013 Dec 11.


Aim: Periodontal disease encompasses gingivitis and periodontitis, which exerts systemic effects. We conducted a population-based study to evaluate the association between periodontal disease and the risk of cancer.

Methods: We used insurance claims data from 1997 to 2010, accessing a database of 1 million randomly selected insurants in Taiwan. All patients were older than 20 and newly diagnosed with periodontitis between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2010. The comparison cohort comprised patients older than 20, who were newly diagnosed with gingivitis in the same period. Both cohorts were followed until a cancer diagnosis, lost to follow-up, death, termination of insurance, or the end of 2010.

Results: The incidence rate of cancer was 1.14 times higher in the study cohort than in the comparison cohort [confidence interval (CI) = 1.11-1.17]. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 1.05 (95% CI = 1.00-1.11). A multivariable analysis showed that the periodontitis patients exhibited an elevated risk of developing oral cancer (adjusted HR = 1.79, 95% CI = 1.42-2.25).

Conclusion: The findings indicated that patients in the periodontitis cohort exhibited a higher risk of developing oral cancer than those in the gingivitis cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / complications*
  • Gingivitis / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Periodontitis / complications*
  • Periodontitis / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Sex Distribution
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult