Sex and Oral Cancer

According to a recent article by Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, the connection between the sexually transmitted disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), and oral cancer has produced  startling statistics. Not only is HPV one of the fasted growing STDs but it is asserted that at least 50% of the sexually active population will contract it. With a 225% increase in oral cancers between 1988 and 2004 it’s evident that this is an issue that has to be addressed.

Why the increase? Many assert that the legacy of the sexual revolution is the cause as oral sex (a large contributor to the increase) has become more commonplace.

There are also some subtle warning signs that accompany this virally and sexually transmitted oral cancer. Identifying some of the more subtle symptoms may allow our professional to identify posterior oropharyngeal abnormalities at a much earlier stage.

  • The following are signs and symptoms to be aware of in the assessment of the dental patient:
  • Hoarseness
  • Continuous sore throat or a throat infection not responding to antibiotics
  • Pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when chewing
  • Continual lymphadenopathy
  • Non-healing oral lesions
  • Bleeding in the mouth or throat
  • Ear pain
  • A lump in the throat or the feeling that something is stuck in the throat

For more information on the connection between sex and oral cancer and Jo-Anne Jones’ findings, please visit the complete article on Sex and oral cancer by clicking here.


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