According to the results of study recently published by the University of Texas, human papillomavirus (HVP) is 56% more likely to be found in people with bad oral health compared to those having no oral health issues. Bad oral health means tooth and gum diseases, including cavities and bleeding, and higher number of teeth lost.
HPV can cause genital warts or present itself without symptoms. Most of its variations are innocuous causing no problems, but some of them, particularly, types 16 and 18, if left untreated, can lead to cancers of the cervix, anus, penis, vulva, vagina, as well as head and neck cancers. About 60% of oropharyngeal cancers (throat, tonsils and the base of tongue) are caused by HPV. These kinds of HPV-related cancers are most common in non-Hispanic men (6.5 men per 100,000 were diagnosed with HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer). Among non-Hispanic men, only 3.5 per 100,000 are diagnosed with this type of cancer. For women these numbers are 0.7 for Hispanic and 1.5 for non-Hispanic.
There are some other risk factors of HPV-related oral cancers, which we are going to discuss here in the future, but whatever they are, it makes sense to note that brushing your teeth, getting cavities treated, and keeping your gums healthy will not only make you smile brighter, but also may help you smiling longer.