Oral cancer in women has an increasing incidence in China, although the majority of Chinese women don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Poor oral hygiene has been shown in previous studies to be a risk factor in the development of oral cancer. The authors of this paper found that there were no studies investigating the standard of education when assessing the association between oral hygiene and the risk of oral cancer in women. They performed a case control study for all women in the Fujian province diagnosed with a primary oral cancer that neither smoked nor drank alcohol from September 2010 to September 2015. A total of 250 women were included in the study and there were 996 controls. Among the information recorded by the authors to measure oral hygiene included number of times teeth were brushed a day, number of missing teeth, number of dental visits, presence of dentures and their duration, and the presence of oral ulcers. The authors measured standard of education from patients who were illiterate to primary/middle school education to high school and above. They found that there was a multiplicative interaction between standard of education and oral hygiene in the development of oral cancer in women who don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Brushing teeth twice a day or more was only protective for women with high school education or above. They also found denture wearing in women who did not have high school education or above were more likely to develop oral cancer. Losing more than five teeth or having oral ulcers was associated with increased risk of oral cancer irrespective of education background. This paper highlights the potential importance of raising the standard of education of the general population in trying to reduce the incidence of oral cancer. 

Influence of oral hygiene and its interaction with standard of education on the risk of oral cancer in women who neither smoked nor drank alcohol: a hospital-based, case-control study.
Chen F, He BC, Yan LJ, et al.
Share This
Wai Sum Cho

Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.

View Full Profile