It is not the first time that poor oral hygiene has been linked to cancer, but this latest study links the risk to oral human papillomavirus infection (HPV), which is estimated to be responsible for between 40% and 80% of oropharyngeal cancers, and is the first to do so.
This latest study found that participants with poor oral health were 56% more likely to have the oral HPV infection, and those with gum disease had a 51% higher prevalence of the infection. Additionally the research was able to associate the number of teeth lost with oral HPV infections. There are two different types of HPV, as one type is likely to cause warts or benign tumours in the mouth, while the other increases the risk of oropharyngeal cancers.
Men who smoke cigarettes or who use marijuana were found to be more at risk of having the oral HPV infection, but the virus needs open wounds in the mouth to be able to infect a person. It’s thought that poor oral health, including having ulcers and chronically inflamed gums could create openings in the mouth for HPV but at the moment there’s not enough evidence to support this theory.
The report was published in Cancer Prevention Research, which is a journal for the American Association of Cancer Research, and there is good news. Even if you do have this virus, you can modify your risk through maintaining good oral hygiene and by making sure you visit Dr Rik Trivedi or another of our dentists in Kent for regular check-ups.
Even if you’re not at risk of catching HPV, it’s still important to maintain good oral health as this will increase the likelihood of your teeth lasting for life, and will decrease the need for dental implant in Kent. But what if you’ve already lost teeth? In this case dental implants are definitely an excellent option, but if you do have any oral health issues than these will need to be treated prior to implant surgery. This is because implants have the very best chance of healing and of becoming fully integrated in the jawbone in a healthy mouth.
If you’re concerned about your oral health, or perhaps you’d like to know more about dental implants, and then why not give us a call? You can phone us on 01474 537191 or alternatively we have an enquiry form on our website at www.parrockdental.co.uk , and you’ll also find lots of useful information about dental implants and oral health issues on this website.