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Abstract

The present paper discusses the potential role of dental biomaterials and inflammatory processes in gingival carcinogenesis. Parallel questions are associated with orthopedic implants that sometimes initiate malignant mesenchymal tumors like sarcomas. Only one case of sarcoma has been described in relation to dental implants and no oral malignancy has been related to other dental restorations. On the other hand, several cases of squamous cell carcinomas in close contact with dental implants with peri-implantitis or teeth with periodontal inflammation have been reported. Most often the gingival carcinomas occur in patients with known risk factors or oral premalignancies. However, other cases exhibit no potential risk factor except periodontal or peri-implant inflammation. This observation may be of interest in view of the present discussion on the role of inflammation in carcinogenesis. Epidemiological research has indicated that periodontal inflammation may be an independent risk factor in oral cancer. In conclusion, no evidence indicates that dental biomaterials contribute to the development of gingival cancers, whereas the role of periodontal and implant inflammatory processes cannot be completely disregarded.