A new meta-analysis revives the controversy about the link between dentures and cancer. The new study places blame squarely on poorly fitting dentures, which makes us wonder even more about the true cost of cheap dentures.
Dentures and Oral Cancer
The idea that dentures might cause cancer is not new. It has been studied in considerable depth, with a lot of the foundational work done in the 1980s. The American Cancer Society notes that the theory is that food, alcohol, tobacco, and other carcinogens could become trapped under the dentures, increasing exposure and therefore risk, but noting that most studies have found no increased risk, such as this one.
A New Meta-Analysis
Unsatisfied with the current research on the subject, researchers from Sydney used a powerful mathematical tool to reexamine the evidence of a potential dentures-cancer connection. They conducted a meta-analysis, which is when scientists take the data from many studies and analyze it as though it were part of a single study. This allows them to analyze and answer questions that no single study large enough to answer.
Their analysis found that people with dentures as a whole were 1.42 times more likely to develop oral cancer, which was just barely significant. People with poorly fitting dentures, on the other hand, were 3.90 times more likely to develop cancer.
There was no correlation between the length of time wearing dentures and cancer risk.
Could Cheap Dentures Cost You Your Life?
On the one hand, this study serves as an important reminder that cheap dentures may not be worth it. On the other hand, we have to remember that this is just one piece in a much larger puzzle, and that not all studies agree with this one.
People with dentures should try to get the best-fitting dentures they can, like neuromuscular dentures. They should also see their dentist regularly to have the fit checked and corrected if necessary. When they see their dentist, regular cancer screenings may also be helpful.
If you are looking for quality dentures, please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a Columbia, SC denture dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.