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HPV and Oral Cancer Gainesville, GA

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is best known as a sexually transmitted infection. In the United States, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease, with 79 million Americans currently infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to increasing risk for cervical cancer, HPV is a contributing factor in some cases of oral cancer. Each year an estimated 1,700 women and 6,700 men develop oropharyngeal cancer, which affects the tongue and throat.

Connection between HPV and oral cancer

There are more than 40 strains of HPV that live in the skin and mucosal areas. Some of these affect the genitalia, while others are found in the mouth and throat. Of the strains of oral HPV, only one, called HPV16, increases the risk of oral cancer, the Oral Cancer Foundation reports. A retrospective study conducted found that oral cancer developed an average of 15 years after exposure to HPV, making it a relatively slow-growing form of cancer.

In general, 80% of Americans will have an HPV infection at some point in their lifetimes, while 99% develop no ill effects. Getting oral HPV is associated with multiple sexual partners and engaging in oral sex; however, even some individuals who have been with only one partner may contract the infection. Although overall risk of oral cancer from HPV infection is low, it is essential to be proactive about oral health.

How to prevent HPV-related oral cancer

Scientists continue to study how HPV infections lead to oral cancer, so little is known about the progression of the disease. However, one recent study found that poor oral health, including gum disease and poor oral hygiene, is associated with oral cancer risk. Thus, being vigilant about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly may reduce HPV-related oral cancer. Getting the HPV vaccine also protects against the oral form of the virus.

Another key way to reduce mortality from oral cancer is to have regularly scheduled appointments with at Gainesville Dental Group. Having Drs. Kell Gallaher, Michael Vetter, and Paul Gannon examine your mouth at least two times a year increases the likelihood that a sign of oral cancer, such as a sore or patch, will be detected. If you’re concerned about HPV-related oral cancer, please give us a call at our Gainesville, GA office for advice about oral hygiene and disease prevention.

Our Patient Reviews

The Gainesville Dental Group

4.9 / 5.0

Based on 32 reviews

Bev M.

Very happy with the staff at Gainesville Dental Group. The doctors are caring and experienced. I never am left in the waiting room. The hygienist always ask thorough questions and report to the doctor before the exam, saving me from having to repeat everything. Highly recommend.

Dennis C.

I came to Gainesville Dental Group with a crown that was in bad shape and painful. Dr. Vetter was very knowledgeable about what needed to be done and went to great lengths to ensure the treatment to resolve the problem was in my best interest. He and assistant Sarah Riley were very professional yet personable. They worked together seamlessly in a manner that put me at ease and were very focused on fixing the tooth. Any physical discomfort was minimal and both Dr. Vetter and Sarah were encouraging and positive. A very good experience.

Sarah R.

I come to Gainesville Dental Group for my routine cleanings and absolutely love it! It’s very clean and I love how up to date they are with digital X-rays and photos of the teeth. I had to have a filling and they were able to point out on the screen where my cavity was on the X-ray. It’s much easier getting the work done when you have an understanding of what the doctor is doing! Dr. Vetter did my filling and the whole procedure was pain free! I can’t say enough good things about this group!

Linda H.

Dr. Gannon and Hannah were great. They talked me thru my procedure and made sure I was comfortable and pain free. The office was friendly and pleasant. My hubby and son have used them and liked them. I've found a new dentist! Thank You GDG.

Candace C.

Since I started my orthodontic treatment fifteen months ago, the staff at Gainesville Dental Group have been exceptional. Dr. Vetter is so kind and energetic and Kim puts you at ease while she works miracles! I am thrilled at my results and that they worked within my timeframe. I gladly recommend The Gainesville Dental Group for a personalized experience. Thank you!

Kayla B.

The whole office staff is amazing! Super friendly and helpful. Dr. Gannon has always been very nice and does great work! My husband sees Dr. Vetter and has only good things to say as well. I highly recommend this office!

Lorrie M.

This is by far the best dental group I have been to in a long time. The staff is wonderful and caring. From the front office to the Dentists are a class act. Very kind and explain step by step. High quality work. Don't plan on going anywhere else. My husband has had the same experience. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Tell them Lorrie sent you

Bruce Y.

Great dental visit! Went in for annual cleaning and x-rays. Donna did an awesome job and pointed out a potential issue which she brought up to the doctor who concurred. It was an excellent visit. Thank you to the "team" @ Gainesville Dental Group.

Contact Us

1026 Thompson Bridge Road
Gainesville GA, 30501

Tel: (770) 297-0401

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM