Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


European study reveals new causes of mouth and throat cancer


Poor oral health and failure to have regular dental checks could increase the risk of mouth and throat cancer, according to a pan-European study. One of the partners of the study was the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology (BIPS) at the University of Bremen, Germany (Prof. Wolfgang Ahrens). It was coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The research also suggests – based on a small number of tumour patients – that excessive use of mouthwash may also cause this particular form of cancer. Excessive use is defined as more than three times a day.

It has been established for some time that smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, particularly in combination, are strongly related to mouth and throat cancers. Low socio-economic status is also recognised as a contributory factor. Now, however, a new study has identified new risk factors for upper aerodigestive tract cancer (cancer of the mouth, larynx, pharynx and esophagus).

The study of 1,962 patients with mouth and throat cancers, with a further 1,993 people used as comparison control subjects, was conducted in 13 centres across nine countries and supported by EU funding.

... more about:
»CANCER »alcohol »conditions »mouth »oral »teeth »throat

Prof. Wolfgang Ahrens, Deputy Director of the BIPS and professor of epidemiological research methods at the University of Bremen said: “These results are really important. Up until now, it was not really known if these dental risk factors were independent of the well known risks for mouth and throat cancers – smoking, alcohol and low socioeconomic status.”

The researchers were able to strip out the causation factors of smoking, alcohol and socio-economic factors, and still found there was a connection between poor oral health and increased risk of mouth and throat cancers.

The findings are highly “nuanced” and there is an interconnectedness of many of the risk factors, he stressed, but there was now evidence that poor oral health and poor dental care were also part of the picture.

The definition of poor oral health included people who had complete or part dentures, people with persistently bleeding gums.

“People should not assume that if they wear dentures and have none of their own teeth left, they have no need to see a dentist,” said Dr David Conway, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow Dental School and one of the senior authors of the study. “On the contrary, even if you have got dentures, you should make sure you go for regular check-ups,” he said.

People with poor dental care were defined as those who hardly ever or never brushed their teeth or visited the dentist. The frequency of dental visits should be determined by a dentist’s risk assessment and if people fell into the low risk category it could be once a year or even every two years, said Dr Conway.
“It is not a case of ‘one size fits all’. Visits could be six-monthly, but certainly not five-yearly,” Dr. Conway added.

The possible role of mouthwash as a causative factor would require further research, said Professor Ahrens. There might be a relationship between excessive use of mouthwash and people who used it to mask the smell of smoking and alcohol. Nevertheless, the researchers found that “frequent use of mouthwashes (3-plus times per day) was associated with an elevated risk of developing mouth and throat cancer”, although they were unable to analyse the types of mouthwash used many years ago by participants in the study.

Dr Conway said: “I would not advise routine use of mouthwash, full stop. There are occasions and conditions for which a dentist could prescribe a mouthwash – it could be that a patient has a low salivary flow because of a particular condition or medicine they are taking. But for me, all that’s necessary in general is good regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing combined with regular check-ups by a dentist.”

The research group, which includes collaborators from Germany, UK, Estonia, Switzerland, Greece, the Czech Republic, Italy, Norway, Spain, USA, Croatia, Ireland and France, has recently received a new tranche of funding from the EU and WHO’s International Agency for Research of Cancer, which will be used to research prognostic factors as well as risk factors.

Published online in Oral Oncology on 26th March 2014:

Title: "Oral health, dental care and mouthwash associated with upper aerodigestive tract cancer risk in Europe: the ARCAGE (Alcohol-Related Cancers and Genetic-susceptibility in Europe) study"

Contact in Germany:

University of Bremen
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science
Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS
Professor Dr Wolfgang Ahrens
Phone: +49 (0)421 218-56822
Mobile: +49 (0)172-408-8706

Weitere Informationen:

Meike Mossig | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: CANCER alcohol conditions mouth oral teeth throat

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>