Is Periodontitis Independently Associated with Potentially Malignant Disorders of the Oral Cavity?

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sharavathi Dental College and Hospital, Shimoga, India.

2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Srinivas Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, India.

3 Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry, University of Adelaide, Australia.


Objective: To examine if periodontitis is independently associated with oral potentially malignant disorders
(OPMD) in a rural Indian adult population aged 35-54 years. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study was
conducted in rural India from 2011 to 2012. Multistage stratified cluster random sampling was followed to recruit 1401
participants aged 35-54 years. Face-to-face interviews were conducted to collect data on sociodemographic factors,
tobacco and alcohol use. Oral examinations were done to record OPMD, periodontal findings and missing teeth.
Univariate, bivariate and multivariable analyses were achieved using SPSS version 16 Chicago, SPSS Inc. OPMDs
(leukoplakia, erythroplakia, oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) and suspicious malignant lesion) whether present or absent
were selected as outcome variables; age, sex, socioeconomic factors, smoking, tobacco-chewing status, alcohol use,
and periodontitis were considered as the predictor variables. Results: Among 873 participants, 44 demonstrated 47
lesions. Leukoplakia (n=21), erythroplakia (n=3), OSF (n=21), and suspicious malignant lesions (n=2) were present,
strongly associated with past tobacco-chewing status [OR=9.22 (2.57-33.15)], current tobacco-chewing status [OR=15.49
(6.20-38.74)] and moderate/severe periodontitis [OR=3.19 (1.11-9.12)]. Conclusion: Periodontitis is a risk indicator for
OPMD, independent of socioeconomic factors and tobacco-chewing. Tobacco-chewing status, both past and current,
was strongly associated with OPMD in our rural Indian population.


Main Subjects