Research Brief: Tongue cancer and gum disease linked

Men with chronic gum disease may have an increased risk of tongue cancer regardless of whether they smoke, according to US research. The study involved 51 men with tongue cancer and 54 without. Periodontitis was assessed in X-rays of the mouth by calculating the amount of bone loss in the tooth cavities, a measure of the disease's history and progression. The mean amount of bone loss in the tooth cavities was 4.21mm in cancer cases, compared with 2.74mm in men without tongue cancer (Arch Otalaryngol Head Neck Surg 2007; 133: 40-454).

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