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According to researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center, the risk of developing HPV infection and related cancer increases in individuals with poor oral health. Their findings, published in the August 23, 2013 edition of the American Association for Cancer Research Journal, suggest an indirect relationship between oral HPV infections and poor oral health. Additional research is necessary to further understand this relationship.

Some 3,439 people between the ages of 30 and 69 participated in the study. Both low-risk and high-risk HPV types provided data. Researchers considered four areas of oral health: self-ratings of oral health, presence of gum disease, number of lost teeth, and use of mouthwash.

Promoting oral health and hygiene through public health campaigns may help reduce incidence of HPV-related cancer. Understanding and practicing sound oral hygiene may not only prevent HVP infections and related cancers, but reverse damage owing to prior poor health habits.

by Stephen Petinge, DMD

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