Ill-fitting dentures and oral cancer: a meta-analysis

Oral Oncol. 2014 Nov;50(11):1058-61. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2014.08.002. Epub 2014 Aug 26.


Objectives: Several studies have investigated the relationship between the use of dentures and the duration of denture use and cancer development. Of particular interest is whether ill-fitting dentures increase the likelihood of the development of oral cancer. We conducted a meta-analysis to determine the relationship between dentures and the development of cancer.

Materials and methods: We searched several databases (PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews) to find published papers on the topic. In particular, the duration of denture use and the comfort and fit of the dentures were investigated.

Results: The use of dentures by itself is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer (OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.01-1.99). In addition, ill-fitting dentures appears to substantially increase the risk of developing cancer (OR: 3.90, 95% CI: 2.48-6.13). In addition, there was no link between the duration of denture use and cancer development. This might be due to the arbitrary nature of what we defined as short and long term denture use and may have been affected by the inconsistency in time categorization between different studies.

Conclusion: Ill-fitting dentures are a risk factor for the development of oral cancer, greater patient education and regular checking of dentures by dentists should be undertaken as a prevention measure.

Keywords: Dentures; Meta-analysis; Oral cancer; Poor fitting dentures; Risk.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Dentures*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies