Association between periodontal disease and oral squamous cell carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2023 Jul;61(6):394-402. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2023.05.004. Epub 2023 May 16.


To investigate the relation between periodontal disease (PD) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) we systematically searched records published up to August 2022. Odds ratios (OR) and relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated to evaluate this relation, then sensitivity analysis was performed accordingly. Begg's test and Egger's test were used to detect publication bias. Out of 970 papers from several databases, 13 studies were included. Summary estimates showed that PD was positively associated with the prevalence of OSCC (OR = 3.28, 95% CI: 1.87 to 5.74), especially for severe PD (OR = 4.23, 95% CI: 2.92 to 6.13). No evident publication bias was revealed. No increased OSCC risk among patients with PD was shown according to the combined results (RR = 1.50, 95% CI: 0.93 to 2.42). Patients with OSCC exhibited significant differences in alveolar bone loss, clinical attachment loss, and bleeding on probing, when compared with controls. The systematic review and meta-analysis suggested that there was a positive association between PD and prevalence of OSCC. However, according to the current evidence, a causal relation is unclear.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Oral squamous cell carcinoma; Periodontal disease; Periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / complications
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / complications
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Periodontal Diseases* / complications
  • Periodontal Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck