HPV & Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

We love to talk about the fun and interesting sides of oral health, but today, there is something much more serious on our minds. We care about the health of everyone in Fuquay-Varina, and as dental care professionals, we feel it is our duty to educate you on how to be as safe and healthy as you can be. While you have probably heard of the human papillomavirus and oral cancer, most people don’t know that they are linked. Here is some information from Dr. McCormick and Dr. Meunier about the topic. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Fuquay Family Dentistry.

What is HPV?

Human papillomavirus refers to a family of nearly 200 strains that infect the epithelial skin cells and mucous membranes, such as the inside of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, throat, vulva, vagina, cervix, penis (through the urethral opening), and the anus. HPV is transmitted primarily through sexual contact (oral and genital) and it is one of the most common viruses in the country. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 Americans will have an HPV infection at some point. However, 99% of HPV infections are cleared up by your immune system without any symptoms or any indication that you were ever infected.

HPV and Oral Cancer

While most of us know HPV as the sexually transmitted infection responsible for genital warts, that represents only a few strains of the virus (usually HPV6 and 11), which are low-risk. What most Fuquay-Varina folks don’t know is that HPV is also responsible for causing cervical cancer (HPV16 and 18) and oral cancer. In fact, HPV 16 is now considered the leading cause of oral cancer in America. Tobacco use and alcohol consumption are also major risk factors, but they do not have as much of a proven causative effect on the development of oral cancer as human papillomavirus.

HPV and Dental Health

If you are worried about getting oral cancer, don’t fret! We at Fuquay Family Dentistry have the expertise and the technology to identify any areas of concern, track problems, and make sure that diagnosis happens as early as possible. If you would like to come in for an oral cancer screening from Dr. McCormick and Dr. Meunier, contact us today!


Sources

http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/

http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/hpv-genital-warts/hpv-virus-information-about-human-papillomavirus

http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/hpv/

http://www.cdc.gov/sTd/stats12/figures/47.htm

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dental School and a recipient of the Monte G. Miska Prosthodontics Award, Dr. Bryden McCormick has been serving the communities of Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs for many years. With a dedication to improving his patients’ overall health, and a passion for working with his hands, Dr. McCormick’s goal is to surpass his patients’ expectations at every turn. Dr. McCormick’s continuing commitment to education has led him to receive fellowship from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He has completed numerous courses on dental implants, Six Month Smiles®, cosmetic dentistry, and digital dentistry from world-renowned institutions, such as the Scottsdale Center and the Triangle Dental Institute. In the community, Dr. McCormick has volunteered his professional services with the North Carolina Missions of Mercy Clinics, Giving Smiles Events at Raleigh Dental Arts, and the NC Baptist Men’s Mobile Dental Ministry. He also sponsored a Free Dental Day at Fuquay Family Dentistry and served over 100 patients in need within our community. Personally, Dr. McCormick sponsors local community and school events, such as FVAA teams, Friends of the Chorus, Band Booster, Theater Patron at the Fuquay-Varina High School, Theatre Patrons, Friends of the Museums, and local travel baseball and softball teams. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Dr. McCormick currently resides in Fuquay-Varina with his wife, Kristen, who teaches at Wake Tech. They have three children and a Newfoundland fur ball named Otis. In his free time, Dr. McCormick enjoys smoking ribs, cooking, working in his yard, playing golf, and spending time with his family.

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care

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