A recent article in the New York Times discusses the ties between poor oral health to cancer-causing virus.
Here’s an excerpt”
People with swollen gums, missing teeth and other signs of poor dental health are more likely to be infected orally with the human papillomavirus, researchers reported on Wednesday.
HPV, a sexually transmitted virus, causes cancers of the cervix, mouth and throat. The new study, published in Cancer Prevention Research, is the first to document a link between the infection and poor oral health, but other experts noted that the research found only an association and relied mostly on self-reported data about oral health. It is too early to say with confidence that brushing and flossing regularly can prevent oral HPV infection, they said.
The finding is a “modest association,” said Aimée R. Kreimer, an epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute who was not involved in the study. “We don’t know if poor oral health causes HPV infection and would go on to cancer,” she said.
This finding suggests another potential downside to deficient hygiene “because of a possible association between poor to fair oral health and the presence of the human papillomavirus, which in itself is identified with several diseases,” said Dr. Sol Silverman, a professor of oral medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a spokesman for the American Dental Association.