For the acquisition of a mammogram, a breast is compressed between a compression paddle and a support table. When compression is applied with a flexible compression paddle, the upper plate may be tilted, which results in variation in breast thickness from the chest wall to the breast margin. Paddle tilt has been recognized as a major problem in volumetric breast density estimation methods. In previous work, we developed a fully automatic method to correct the image for the effect of compression paddle tilt. In this study, we investigated in three experiments the effect of paddle tilt and its correction on volumetric breast density estimation. Results showed that paddle tilt considerably affected accuracy of volumetric breast density estimation, but that effect could be reduced by tilt correction. By applying tilt correction, a significant increase in correspondence between mammographic density estimates and measurements on MRI was established. We argue that in volumetric breast density estimation, tilt correction is both feasible and essential when mammographic images are acquired with a flexible compression paddle.