Poor Oral Health Increases Risk for HPV Infection

A recent study completed by the University of Texas Health Sciences Center found that poor oral health is a risk factor for oral infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). People who reported poor oral health had a 56% increase in the risk of HPV infection of the mouth or throat. HPV infection is a risk factor for mouth and throat cancers.checkup

“The good news is, this risk factor is modifiable,” said Dr. Thanh Cong Bui. “By maintaining good oral hygiene and good oral health, one can prevent HPV infection and subsequent HPV-related cancers.” Of course, this does not mean that terrific oral hygiene will protect you 100% but it will reduce your risk! Drinking alcohol and smoking are also risk factors for oral cancers.

Oral cancer screening is an important part of what dentists do during a regular examination. Most patients don’t realize that their dentist is usually the only doctor they have that will screen for oral cancers on a regular basis! The good news is that when discovered early, oral cancer survival rates are very high. Early stage oral cancers usually do not cause symptoms such as pain or discomfort and so many cancers are not discovered until they are at a much later stage. Unfortunately, survival rates for these late stage cancers are not in the patients favor.

Protect yourself by maintaining good oral health. This means brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist every six months (maybe more often if you have active gum disease). Schedule your dental appointment today by contacting Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR today at 541-858-7994.