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Surprising connection between your Oral and Physical Health

Your mouth is the gateway to your body

The state of your mouth plays an important role in your overall health. Your mouth can tell you a lot about the health of your body. The mouth acts as a mirror to show signs of disease.
The fuel for the body enters through the mouth. Its primary gateway for most of the infections that affect the health.

Bacteria transfer from mouth into the body

Poor dental care leads to bacteria buildup on teeth this makes gums and teeth prone to infection. The immune system moves in to attack the infection causing the gums to become inflamed. The inflammation continues unless the infection is addressed and the source of the infection gets cared for.

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

In truth, oral bacteria enter the body in a number of ways. Bad oral bacteria can be swallowed. Because the body has been in cleanse cycle all night and saliva hasn’t been circulating, the highest levels of oral bacteria are ingested when we take our first swig of water in the morning.

Oral and facial pain.

Oral and facial pain are caused by infection of this could be a gum infection or an infection of the teeth. tha. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75% of the U.S. population.

Diseases can develop as a result of oral infections

With the constant advancements in science and the new methods of identifying the causes of various diseases, scientists keep discovering more and more links between our oral health and overall health.

Many studies have found bacteria that entered the body through the mouth to be responsible for the following diseases:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attack the friendly bacteria in your gut. And that’s when your digestive issues begin to worsen.

Breast cancer
Women may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer due to lack of good oral care.

Diabetes
Serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease
Stroke, heart attack, infective endocarditis, and thickening of the arteries can occur due to poor oral health.
When bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation.

Bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial infections in the chest are believed to be caused by breathing droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs can cause bacterial pneumonia.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Some research shows those who had moderate to severe periodontitis had more than twice the risk of RA compared to those with mild or no periodontitis.

Few points to practice good oral hygiene

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to prevent gum disease.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the early signs of any dental disease.

Don’t forget to provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.

Two super food to strengthen kids teeth

Brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary treats help maintain good oral health. When it comes to building strong teeth there are two important foods to make sure your kids incorporate daily into their diets. Dairy products are good for oral health as well as overall health, and it’s vital for bone health as well.

Dairy products contain abundant amounts of calcium ,this helps in making the teeth strong by strengthening the enamel and the lactic acid in these can kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Dairy products help in raising the pH levels in the mouth and reduce the effects of the acids produced by dental plaque. Additionally, the raised pH levels prevent tooth decay and cavities too.

Dairy Products #1 Milk

Your kids teeth get stronger and healthier when they drink milk , because it contains calcium. Calcium protects your teeth against periodontal (gum) disease and keeps your jaw bone strong and healthy.

Besides calcium, milk is also rich in phosphorus and magnesium, and is fortified with Vitamin D which helps your body absorb and use calcium more effectively.

Avoid giving your kids flavored milk as they contain a high amount of sugar which reduces the health benefits.

Dairy Products #2 Cheese

Cheese is a good source of calcium, which healthy kids need to strengthen teeth and bone and also contains many more nutrients that make kids healthy.

The fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin K2 help absorb and place calcium in teeth and bones.

Another reason why cheese is great for your kid’s health is probiotic bacteria which helps in strengthening teeth by living in your child’s oral microbiome. Cheese is created through the fermentation of milk and a well-treated cheese is full of probiotic bacteria. This bacteria is known to prevent tooth decay by stopping the growth of harmful bacteria.

Maintain a regular visit to dentist for pediatric dental checkup and please don’t hesitate to contact us for any queries, we would be happy to help you.

It’s time to raise a glass of milk and say “Cheese!”.

Oral health during pregnancy

During pregnancy overall health including your oral health is important. Between decorating the nursery and visiting your OB-GYN, also visit your dentist for a checkup!

It’s important to maintain a good home care routine.

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day
  • Floss at least everyday
  • Rinse after snacks and meals
  • Visit the dentist every 6 months, maybe more frequently during pregnancy
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Teeth Whitening While Pregnant, because use of tooth whitening products that contain or generate hydrogen peroxide results in release of in- organic mercury from dental amalgams, these products should be avoided during pregnancy by patients who have amalgam restorations.

Citation: Al-Salehi SK. Effects of bleaching on mercury ion release from dental amalgam. J Dent Res 2009;88(3):239-43.
During pregnancy you may experience morning sickness. The stomach acid can coat the teeth when you vomit, which can cause dental erosion and increase the risk of tooth decay.

  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to stop acid from attacking your teeth.
  • In some instances, morning sickness and vomiting/reflux may contribute to the onset of perimyolysis, an erosion of the lingual surfaces of the teeth caused by exposure to gastric acids.
    A pregnant adolescent experiencing morning sickness or gastroesophageal reflux should be instructed to rinse with a cup of water containing a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and to avoid tooth brushing for about one hour after vomiting to minimize dental erosion caused by stomach acid exposure.
    Women should be advised about the high sugar content and risk for caries associated with long term frequent use of over the counter antacids.

Is it Safe to Visit the Dentist While Pregnant?

Yes, absolutely! Let your dentist know that you’re expecting as soon as possible. Tell them how far along you are and about any medications you are taking when you arrive at your appointment. Getting regular dental checkups during pregnancy is safe and important for both you and your baby.

Can you get dental work done while pregnant?

Dental work while pregnant, such as cavity fillings and root canals, should be treated as soon as possible to reduce the risk of infection. Numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure are also completely safe you and your unborn baby.

Preventive, diagnostic, and restorative dental treatment is safe throughout pregnancy and is effective in improving and maintaining oral health.

Oral health care, including having dental radiographs taken and being given local anesthesia, is safe at any point during pregnancy. Further, the American Dental Association and the American Congress (formerly “College”) of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agree that emergency treatments, such as extractions, root canals or restorations can be safely performed during pregnancy and that delaying treatment may result in more complex problems.

Oral Hygiene Routine

With proper hygiene at home and professional help from your dentist, your teeth should remain healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Content reference are from various sources – CDC Pregnant & Radiation fact sheet, Keeping your mouth healthy during pregnancy – American Dental Association , Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement, Oral Health Topics Pregnancy – American Dental Association, Oral Health Topics Pregnancy – American Dental Association

Dayton Dentist Discusses the Benefits of Dental Implants

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Dr. J. Otis Hurst with Preferred Family Dental says dental implants can replace missing teeth with results that look and feel natural.

Dayton, OH – It’s often said that dental implants were a revolutionary step forward in the field of restorative dentistry, giving patients an advanced alternative to traditional dentures and results that felt more like natural teeth. Dr. J. Otis Hurst, a Dayton dentist at Preferred Family Dental, says dental implants are now a standard treatment option to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth with permanent results. He notes that dental implants offer patients from virtually all walks of life the opportunity to enhance both the function and appearance of their teeth without the drawbacks that can come from dentures or other missing teeth replacement options.

Dental implants are small posts composed of a strong titanium material. Surgically placed in the area of the missing tooth or teeth, dental implants are designed to fuse to the jawbone and serve as an artificial tooth root. Once the implant has become a permanent part of the patient’s mouth, a customized dental crown is placed on top of the post to provide the final touch. The crown is made to provide the most natural fit, feel, and appearance possible. Dr. Hurst says dental implants offer numerous benefits that often make them more desirable alternatives to dentures or bridges, including:

  • Improved chewing and speaking
  • A more natural appearance
  • No movement or slippage along the gums
  • Preservation of the jaw bone and reduction in the loss of soft tissue
  • No maintenance other than regular brushing and flossing is required
  • Adjacent teeth do not typically need to be reshaped or filed down
  • Results are usually permanent

Dr. Hurst says candidates for dental implants are typically those who have missing teeth, are in reasonably good health, and have adequate jawbone density in the treatment area to accommodate the dental implant. He says, while dental implants may not be the right option for every patient, many people are candidates for the procedure and can successfully restore both aesthetics and function of their teeth with this advanced treatment.

When considering options to replace missing teeth, Dr. Hurst says it’s very important that individuals consult with an experienced dentist for a comprehensive oral evaluation. Once this has taken place and the patient has been determined to be a good candidate, Dr. Hurst notes that a custom-designed treatment plan can be created to provide the best possible results and a winning new smile.

About J. Otis Hurst, DDS

Dr. J. Otis Hurst is the head of Preferred Family Dental, a practice offering restorative, cosmetic, and family dentistry options for patients in Dayton and surrounding areas. Dr. Hurst is a member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the American Dental Association, the Dayton Dental Society, and the Ohio Dental Association. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Hurst serves on the staff at Good Samaritan Hospital. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, followed by completion of his General Practice Dental Residency at Miami Valley Hospital. Dr. Hurst has also continued his dental education at the The Misch Implant Institute and the Kois Center®. He is available for interview upon request.

To learn more about Preferred Family Dental, please visit pfdent.com or facebook.com/daytondentist.

Contact:

Preferred Family Dental
9000 N. Main St. Ste. 207
Dayton, OH 45415
937-836-7282

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044
www.rosemontmedia.com

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

imgoIf you have missing teeth, you may be wondering if there are options available that yield better results than traditional dentures. Fortunately, dental implants can do just that. What many consider a revolutionary advance in the field of restorative dentistry, dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth with results that both look and feel natural. A dental implant is composed of a small titanium post that is placed in the area of the missing tooth. The post serves to mimic a natural tooth root, fusing to the jawbone to become a permanent part of your mouth. A custom-designed dental crown is then affixed to the top of the post, allowing for improved chewing and speaking and a beautiful new look to your smile.

Candidates for dental implants typically include those who:

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Are looking for a more advanced alternative to dentures
  • Have an adequate amount of jawbone density in the area of the missing tooth/teeth to accommodate the dental implant
  • Have reasonably healthy gums
  • Do not suffer from certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, that may interfere with the healing process
  • Are not currently undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments that may prevent proper healing after implantation

Patients who have undeveloped jawbones and those who: are pregnant; smoke heavily; or are currently taking certain medications may not be candidates. With that in mind, it is important to remember that many individuals – from virtually all walks of life – are indeed candidates for this procedure, even those who may have previously been told they are not. The best way to find out if dental implant treatment is the right option for your needs is to schedule a consultation with our experienced implant dentist. Dr. J. Otis Hurst can perform a full oral evaluation and talk with you about your options. If you are a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Hurst can create a customized treatment plan to help you successfully and permanently renew the appearance and function of your teeth.

Contact Preferred Family Dental

If you would like more information on dental implants, or to schedule a consultation here at Preferred Family Dental, please contact us today.

 

Six Month Smiles® Clear Braces – Dayton Dentists Discuss the Fast, Discreet New Orthodontic Treatment

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Drs. J. Otis Hurst and Amar Mistry say Six Month Smiles® can give patients a way to straighten the teeth and correct common orthodontic issues with greater comfort, less noticeability, and in much quicker time than traditional metal braces.

Dayton, OH – Advances in orthodontic technologies and treatment techniques have given many patients the opportunity to improve the appearance of crooked and crowded teeth, bite issues, and other problems without the need for noticeable metal braces on their teeth. One of those advances is the Six Month Smiles® treatment, and two general dentists in Dayton believe it’s a procedure that offers patients a variety of benefits as an alternative to traditional braces. Dr. J. Otis Hurst and Dr. Amar Mistry say Six Month Smiles® is one of the most innovative orthodontic techniques to come along in quite a while, and is becoming a popular treatment option at Preferred Family Dental.

The Six Month Smiles® cosmetic braces system is designed to move the teeth into a more desirable position using less force than traditional braces techniques. Using clear brackets and tooth-colored wires made of biocompatible nickel titanium, Dr. Hurst says the braces offer patients greater comfort during the treatment process without sacrificing the efficacy of the procedure. Plus, he notes, the braces are less noticeable on the teeth, helping patients feel less self-conscious when they smile.

Dr. Hurst and Dr. Watwe say candidates for Six Month Smiles® include adults who are over the age of 16 and those who wish to straighten the teeth, close gaps and spaces, improve mild bite alignment problems, and address other common orthodontic issues. While the procedure may not be ideal for everyone, Dr. Hurst says most adults are candidates and the treatment can often serve as an alternative to Invisalign® for patients who have more severe signs of crowded or crooked teeth. He also notes that dental insurance policies that cover orthodontic treatments likely cover Six Month Smiles® as well.

Dr. Hurst and Dr. Watwe say the best way for individuals to find out if Six Month Smiles® is a good orthodontic option for their needs is to see a reputable dental professional who can evaluate their teeth and determine their candidacy. He says this treatment is indicative of some of the major advances in orthodontics that have been made over the years, helping patients more comfortably attain their goals while not having to hide their smiles from others.

About J. Otis Hurst, DDS
Dr. Hurst is a member of the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, the Dayton Dental Society, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He is the head of Preferred Family Dental, a practice offering family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry options to individuals in Dayton, Ohio and surrounding areas. Dr. Hurst earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry, and completed his General Practice Dental Residency at Miami Valley Hospital. He has pursued continuing dental education at the Kois Center® and The Misch Implant Institute. Dr. Hurst is available for interview upon request.

About Amar Mistry, DDS
Dr. Amar Mistry received his undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences from Michigan State University. He then obtained his DDS from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry. Upon graduation, he completed a 1 year AEGD residency (Advanced Education in General Dentistry) from Tufts University in Portland, Maine.

To learn more about Preferred Family Dental, please visit pfdent.com or facebook.com/daytondentist.

Contact:

Preferred Family Dental

9000 N. Main St. Ste. 207
Dayton, OH 45415
937-836-7282

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044
www.rosemontmedia.com

Why is Six Month Smiles an Ideal Choice for Orthodontic Treatment?

Six Month SmilesOver the last few decades, traditional metal braces have proven to be very effective orthodontic treatments for many individuals, straightening the teeth and correcting bite issues with successful results. However, there are some significant drawbacks to metal braces, including their noticeability on the teeth, the length of time necessary for optimal results, and the force and pressure of the treatment process, which makes them very uncomfortable for some patients. Six Month Smiles® is designed to reduce those effects without sacrificing the success of treatment. The technique is one of the most advanced orthodontic procedures available, and has proven to be a popular treatment option here at Preferred Family Dental.

Six Month Smiles® is composed of clear braces and biocompatible nickel titanium wires that are colored to match your natural teeth, making them much less noticeable to others. The wires are designed to use less force on the teeth than traditional braces while moving the teeth to a more desirable position at a faster rate of speed. This process allows you to address common orthodontic issues like teeth misalignment, crowding, gaps and spaces, and mild bite alignment problems in about half the time it takes other orthodontic techniques to produce optimal results – and with greater comfort during treatment.

Many individuals are candidates for Six Month Smiles® and, if your dental insurance covers orthodontics, it likely covers this procedure as well. For patients who do not have coverage, Preferred Family Dental offers a variety of payment options to make treatment as financially convenient as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about Six Month Smiles®, we encourage you to contact our office today. We will be happy to answer your questions, or assist you in scheduling a consultation with one of our experienced general dentists to determine your candidacy for this advanced treatment.

Are You a Candidate for Six Month Smiles® Clear Braces?

Six Month Smiles BracesSix Month Smiles® is one of the most innovative orthodontic treatments available. Utilizing an advanced design, Six Month Smiles® is able to gently correct a variety of teeth misalignment issues in about six months – whereas traditional braces can take as much as two years or more to accomplish many of the same goals. Even better: Six Month Smiles® is composed of clear brackets and tooth-colored wires, making the braces much less noticeable on the teeth.

Here at Preferred Family Dental, our experienced general dentists can evaluate your teeth and determine if you are a candidate for Six Month Smiles®. This procedure is often a good option for patients who have:

  • Crooked or crowded teeth
  • Spaces and gaps between the teeth
  • Issues with bite alignment
  • More severe orthodontic issues for which other discreet orthodontic treatments, such as Invisalign®, may not be able to correct

Patients must also be 16 years or older to have Six Month Smiles® treatment, and individuals who require significant bite alteration may not be candidates. Although most adults are candidates for this procedure, Dr. J. Otis Hurst and Dr. Amar Mistry can recommend alternative options for those who are not.

The best way to find out if you are a candidate for Six Month Smiles® is to come in for a comprehensive oral evaluation. Once our general dentist has determined this treatment is the best option for your individual needs and goals, we will create a customized treatment plan designed to provide you with straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile in about six months!

Next up on our blog, we’ll talk about why Six Month Smiles® may be the best choice for your orthodontic needs. Please contact Preferred Family Dental with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation.

HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer – Part 2

Dr. WatweIn the first part of this blog series on HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer, we discussed the different types of HPV and their link to oropharyngeal cancer. In this blog, we will see how HPV causes cancer, how common oral HPV is, explore the signs and symptoms and the process of diagnosis, and discuss the prevention of oral HPV infections and oropharyngeal cancer.

If you have questions about oral cancer screening, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, please contact Preferred Family Dental today.

How HPV Can Cause Cancer

Most people who are exposed to HPV never develop symptoms or health issues. This virus can cause normal cells in infected skin to turn abnormal. Most of the time, you cannot see or feel these cell changes. In about 70-90% of the cases, the body’s immune system fights off the HPV infection naturally and the infected cells return to normal. But in some cases the infection may persist, remain latent in the body and potentially cause long-term problems. These problems may include cervical cancer in women, penis cancer in men, and in both sexes, some cancers of the anus and oropharyngeal cancer.
Cancer caused by HPV often takes years to develop after initially getting an HPV infection; sometimes, as much as 15 years. As mentioned in the previous blog, it is unclear if having HPV alone is sufficient to cause oropharyngeal cancers, or if other factors (such as smoking or chewing tobacco) interact with HPV to cause these cancers. More research is needed to understand all the factors leading to oropharyngeal cancers; however, some experts predict that oropharyngeal cancers linked to HPV will become more common than cervical cancer by 2020.
Incidence of Oral HPV
Studies have shown that about 7% of the American population have oral HPV, however, only 1% of people have oncogenic HPVs. Also, it has been found that men are three times more likely to have oral HPV than women. In the U.S., around 8,400 people are diagnosed every year with oropharyngeal carcinoma which may be linked to HPV.

There have been very few studies looking at how people acquire oral HPV and some of them have conflicting results. For example, some studies suggest that oral HPV may be passed on during oral sex or open-mouthed kissing, others have not. The likelihood of getting HPV from kissing or having oral sex with someone who has HPV is not known. However, we do know that partners who have been together a long time tend to share genital HPV—meaning they both may have it. The incidence of passing oral HPV by sharing spoons or kissing on the cheek is very low. It is certain that more research is needed to understand exactly how people get and give oral HPV infections.
Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention
Some people may develop some signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer, which may include a persistent sore throat, earaches, hoarseness, enlarged lymph nodes, pain when swallowing, and unexplained weight loss. However, some people show no signs or symptoms.
Currently, there are no FDA-approved diagnostic tools or screening tests for HPVs linked to oral carcinomas. However, it could be surmised that since HPV-16 causes most oropharyngeal cancers (about 90%) and is also linked to many cervical cancers, then the same diagnostic tools could be used for both. At this time, there is no blood test for HPV. However, an HPV DNA test is available. Also, a biopsy of the suspicious area could reveal carcinogenic cells under a microscope.

At this time no studies have explored how oral HPV can be prevented. However, since the main method of transmission has been found to be oral to anogenital contact, it is likely that condoms and dental dams can lower the chances of giving or getting oral HPV if used correctly. It is also possible that the HPV vaccines now on the market can help in the prevention of oral HPV. These vaccines were developed to prevent cervical and other anogenital cancers. These vaccines prevent an initial infection with the types of HPV which can lead to any type of cancer, and hence may also prevent oropharyngeal cancer. However, there have been no conclusive studies to show this for certain.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that young women get vaccinated against the virus to prevent cervical cancer. The CDC also recommends the vaccination for young men for two reasons: to help prevent its transmission to women, and to help prevent some of the 7,000 HPV-related cancers that occur in men each year. However, vaccination won’t help older people (those beyond their early 20s) or the millions of people already infected with HPV.

If you’ve been infected with the virus, diagnosing an HPV-related oral cancer as early as possible greatly improves the prognosis. See your doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks:

  • A sore in your mouth or on your tongue that doesn’t heal
  • Persistent pain with swallowing or sore throat
  • A lump in your neck that persists

Contact Preferred Family Dental

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.

Dr. Watwe on HPV and its Link to Oral and Pharyngeal Cancers – Part 1

Dr. WatweRecently, HPV (human papillomavirus) has been linked closely to increasing rates of oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers worldwide. In this post, you will find more information about HPV and its link to the oral cavity. Due to its close relationship to the throat and mouth areas, seeing a dentist yearly for an oral cancer screening can greatly help early detections of such cancers.

What is HPV?
HPV is a group of over 150 viruses, and approximately 40 of these viruses are easily spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. HPV has been found to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. At some point in their lives, nearly half of the sexually active population of the U.S. have been infected with HPV. Around 14 million people get HPV each year, and around half of these infections happen in teenagers and young adults (age 15-24). Early prevention has proven to be very important as HPV infection can cause genital warts and lead to various types of cancer.

Sexually transmitted HPVs fall into two categories:
1. Low-risk HPVs: Do not cause cancer, but can cause skin warts on or around the genitals or anus. HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90% of all genital warts.
2. High-risk/oncogenic HPVs: Can cause cancer; around 12 different HPVs have been found to be high-risk. The two which are responsible for the majority of HPV related cancers are HPV types 16 and 18.

HPV and its Link to the Oral Cavity
The same types of HPV which can infect the genital area can also infect the mouth and throat since the mucosal soft tissues in these areas are very similar. In most cases, HPV infections of all types go away before they cause any health problems. If one of the low risk HPVs mentioned above infects the oropharynx, the most common symptom is oral warts. However, an infection of one of the high risk HPVs mentioned above could result in Oropharyngeal Cancer, mostly in the back of the throat at the base of the tongue and tonsils.

Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is the eighth most common cancer worldwide with approximately 650,000 new cases reported annually. In the past, trends for HNSCC have generally paralleled smoking trends. Mostly, older men with a history of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol for many years used to be the standard patient with oral cancer. However, there has been an increasing incidence of a certain type of HNSCC, specifically oropharyngeal carcinoma in recent years. This increase has been seen even though there has been no parallel increase in smoking and alcohol consumption. This suggests that there are non-traditional behavioral and environmental factors driving the increase in HNSCC. It has been found that up to 70% of oropharyngeal cancers may be caused by HPV, particularly HPV Type 16.

Hence, the traditional risk factors have been replaced by more powerful risk factors relating to sexual practices – the most important being a high number of sexual partners, history of oral-genital sex and history of oral-anal sex. One of the most significant routes of transmission of HPV to the oral cavity is oral anogenital contact. However, it is still uncertain if having HPV alone is sufficient to cause oropharyngeal cancers, or if other factors such as smoking or chewing tobacco interact with HPV to cause these cancers. More research is needed to understand all the factors leading to oropharyngeal cancers. However, due to its close link to the oral cavity, seeing a dentist for a yearly oral cancer screening (or if any abnormalities are felt in the mouth or throat area) is a very important aspect of early detection. Also, yearly health checkups with a general physician are always recommended.

In the next post, we will discuss some of the symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer and its incidence in our population. If you would like more information, or to schedule an appointment here at Preferred Family Dental, please contact us today.

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