Dental education for patients
Our clinical team were recently discussing the link between HPV and oral cancer, and we thought that it would be useful to write a blog post on this to provide advice for our valued patients.
There has been much written in dental magazines and health journals about HPV and oral cancer, and here at the Confidental Clinic Streatham we appreciate that it can be confusing and worrying for patients trying to establish the facts.
As you would expect, we advise any patient who is concerned about any dental health issues to get in touch with us and book in for a full examination with one of our team.
What is HPV?
The NHS defines HPV (Human papillomavirus) as the name for a common group of over 100 skin-based viruses that do not cause problems in most people, but some types can cause cancer for a small percentage of people. The virus is easy to catch and most types affect mouth, throat and genital areas. It is a common sexually-transmitted virus and infection, with more than 200 strains currently known, but most of these are harmless and do not cause cancer.
Only nine of the strains have been linked to causing cancer, and there is only one main strain called HPV Number 16 which has been associated with speeding up oral cancer.
What are the signs and symptoms of HPV?
According to the NHS, the majority of HPV types have no symptoms so most people do not know if they have it. It is common, and many people will get some type of the virus in their life without any significant or adverse effects.
One of the best ways to maintain optimum oral health is to ensure that you regularly have full dental examinations with one of our dentists.
How can our dentists help to detect the signs of HPV?