According to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, poor oral hygiene and gum disease was found to be associated with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes up to 80 % for oropharyngeal cancers.
The researchers have found that those who reported poor oral health had a 56 percent higher incidence of oral HPV infection, those with gum disease had a 51 percent higher occurrence of oral HPV infection, and those with dental problems had 28 percent higher occurrence of oral HPV infection. Additionally researchers have found a link between oral HPV infections and number of teeth lost
“Oral hygiene is fundamental for oral health, so good oral hygiene practices should become a personal habit” said Thanh Cong Bui, D.Ph., postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston.
The good news is, this risk factor can be lowered by maintaining good oral hygiene and good oral health, one can prevent HPV infection and subsequent HPV-related cancers, said Bui.
As good advice, always maintain good oral hygiene and good oral health by having regular checkups, oral cancer screening, teeth cleanings, good home care practices and a healthy lifestyle
Journal Reference: Thanh Cong Bui, Christine M. Markham, Michael Wallis Ross, and Patricia Dolan Mullen. Examining the Association between Oral Health and Oral HPV Infection. Cancer Prev Res, August 21, 2013 DOI:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0081
Bui, Christine Markham, Ph.D., and colleagues used data from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.