Many people understand that they should visit the dentist regularly. In fact, they might even maintain routine appointments in order to ensure that their teeth are healthy. With that said, many people underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups as well as the impact that they can have upon your overall health. If you want to live a healthy life, then you have to stay on top of your oral health and ensure that everything works the way it is supposed to. Otherwise, you could find yourself with serious issues a few years down the road. And with the advancements in today’s dental services, things like precancerous cells and cancer risks like HPV can be detected by our dental specialists. There’s no excuse not to visit regularly!
You might already be familiar with the basic idea of HPV. One of the most common viruses infecting humans to date, HPV can cause a whole host of issues in your body. Until rather recently, however, oral HPV wasn’t something that was easily tested for during a visit with your dentist. Oral HPV refers to the human papillomavirus (HPV) infecting areas in the oral respiratory tract. This includes:
|•||Lingual and Buccal Mucosa|
If you have HPV that has infected any or all of the above, then you have oral HPV.
Just like HPV that occurs elsewhere in your body can lead to cancer, oral HPV can lead to the development of oral cancer. Because the virus essentially commandeers control of your cell’s ability to differentiate and grow, it can destabilize your cells’ genomes. This leads to cellular immortalization, and the steps that come after this lead to cancer. Oral HPV is one of the most common causes of oral cancer out there, trailing only behind alcohol abuse and tobacco use. If left untreated and undetected, in other words, it is likely that oral HPV could cause some serious issues for your oral health. That is why it is important to see us regularly, so we can keep tabs on your oral health.
There are a few different ways that HPV can be detected. Many doctors will use blood tests, for example, to attempt to determine whether or not the virus is infecting their patients. When it comes to oral HPV, saliva is being used more and more often. This kind of examine is non-invasive and is not painful. We simply collect a swab of your saliva and send it off for testing—no needles or other worrisome instruments required! The whole collection process is over in just a few moments, and then you can wait for us to call with your results. Whether they come back positive or negative, we will be able to help you figure out where to go next.
Are you interested in learning more about the oral HPV test? Contact us today and speak with one of our knowledgeable professionals!