Evaluation of Cadmium Levels in Dental Calculus of Male Oral SCC Patients with Betel-Quid Chewing in Hunan Province of China

  • Bo ZhangEmail author
  • Xiaodan Tan
  • Xifan He
  • Hanlin Yang
  • Yuehui Wang
  • Kunlun Zhang


Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread trace toxic heavy metal with long biological half-life and may induce higher risk of cancer on multiple organs of human body. Recent studies have confirmed that dental calculus has enormous potential for investigation of exposure to Cd in the human mouth by acting as a time capsule. We aimed to examine relationship between Cd levels in dental calculus due to betel-quid chewing and risk of oral cancer. This study included 85 male oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cases with betel-quid chewing and smoking as observation subjects (group A) and 67 healthy people with smoking but without betel-quid chewing as control subjects (group B) in Hunan province of Mainland China. Cd levels in calcified dental calculus samples from all participants were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results of this study indicated that cadmium levels in dental calculus were significantly higher in male oral SCC patients with betel-quid chewing and smoking than that in healthy individuals without habit of betel-quid chewing and with smoking (p < 0.0001). This study gives some evidence to support that there may be a positive relationship between cadmium in dental calculus due to betel-quid chewing and risk of oral SCC.


Cadmium Dental calculus Betel quid Oral squamous cell carcinoma Carcinogens ICP-MS 



The authors would like to thank Dr. and Prof. Tian-Ting Zhang, at The Third Xiangya Hospital, Changsha, Hunan, PR China, for encouragement and support for this study.


Dr. Bo Zhang, Dr. Xiaodan Tan, and Dr. Xifan He contributed equally to this work. Dr. Bo Zhang, Dr. Xiaodan Tan, and Dr. Kunlun Zhang participated in the study design. Dr. Bo Zhang, Dr. Xifan He, Dr. Hanlin Yang, and Dr. Yuehui Wang collected dental calculus samples. Dr. Bo Zhang, Dr. Xiaodan Tan, and Dr. Kunlun Zhang performed experiments. Dr. Bo Zhang analyzed the data. Dr. Bo Zhang and Dr. Xiaodan Tan wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the paper.


This study was supported by Hunan S & T Project of China Hunan provincial science and technology department (Grant No. 2014FJ3032).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital, and informed and signed consent was obtained from all participants

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to this study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryHunan Provincial People’s Hospital and The First Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Normal UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hanwoo DNA Solutions Co., LtdChangshaChina
  3. 3.Hunan Legal Forensic CenterChangshaChina

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