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Regular Flossing and Dental Visits May be Linked to Lower Oral Cancer Risk

Frequent flossing and going to the dentist may be linked to lower risk of oral cancer, according to findings presented at a March 31 American Association for Cancer (AACR) annual meeting.

Investigators compared the dental behaviors of patients who were diagnosed with oral cancer between 2011 and 2014 at the ear, nose and throat clinic at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Center to noncancer patients who came to the clinic for other reasons. All patients responded to a survey that asked how often they flossed, how often they went to the dentist and if they smoked or drank alcohol.

Researchers determined people who went to the dentist less than once a year had nearly twice the risk of developing non-human papillomavirus (HPV) oral cancer than those who visited once a year or more. People who flossed less than once a day had over twice the risk of developing non-HPV oral cancer than those who flossed more.

The presentation, “643 / 27 – Poor Oral Hygiene is Associated With HPV-Negative and Not HPV-Positive Oral Cancer,” can be read at https://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/6812/presentation/2919