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Dental health in patients with and without HPV-positive oropharyngeal and tongue cancer

PLoS One. 2022 Sep 22;17(9):e0274813. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0274813. eCollection 2022.


BACKGROUND: Human papilloma virus is associated with oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Our aim was to examine oral health in patients with oropharyngeal (OPSCC) and oral tongue cancer (OTSCC), expecting better oral health among OPSCC patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-five OPSCC patients with known HPV status and 59 OTSCC patients were randomly selected from a list of consecutive patients of the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. Oral health was assessed from panoramic jaw radiographs. Total Dental Index (TDI) summarizing the dental health status was calculated and Finnish population study data were used for comparison. Descriptive statistics were used for analyses.

RESULTS: Patients with HPV-positive OPSCC had higher periapical lesion index compared with HPV-negative OPSCC patients or with OTSCC patients. Residual roots were more common among OPSCC patients compared with OTSCC patients, because of their higher occurrence among HPV-negative OPSCC patients compared with OTSCC patients. Similarly, modified TDI score was significantly higher among OPSCC patients than among OTSCC patients, because of higher TDI score among HPV-negative OPSCC patients compared with OTSCC patients. OPSCC patients more often used a removable prosthesis than OTSCC patients. Dental health of the cancer patients was poorer when compared with the population data.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study hypothesis was only partly confirmed. Periapical lesions were more prevalent among HPV-positive OPSCC patients, compared with the other groups. The number of residual roots was higher among HPV-negative subgroup. Thus, OPSCC patients had worse oral health parameters than OTSCC patients.

PMID:36137133 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0274813

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