It's Time to Discuss Sex, HPV and Its Impact on Dentistry

Nov. 17, 2014

A Peer-Reviewed Publication Written by Lisa Dowst-Mayo, RDH, BSDH

The new millennium has brought about great advances in technology and innovation; including the discovery of the link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and head and neck cancer. Thirty-five years ago, it was postulated that human papillomavirus could cause cervical cancer. Today, it is well established this heterogeneous virus causes cervical, anogenital, penile and oral cancer. HPV is now considered a human carcinogen. Unlike other cancers of the mouth, HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are more likely to occur among younger patients, white men, those without the traditional risk factors of tobacco and alcohol and those with certain sexual histories.1 HPV public awareness has started to grow and has been featured more frequently in the press. As public knowledge continues to grow, so will the knowledge base of dental health care providers who treat them.

Educational Objectives
At the conclusion of this educational activity participants will be able to:

1. Perform an intraoral cancer screening to ensure all aspects of the oral cavity are evaluated.
2. Describe HPV morphology, typing and virulence and their relevance to the identification of HPV related lesions.
3. Describe how HPV is transmitted and the related oral risks for patients.
4. Make well informed decisions before purchasing enhanced oral cancer and HPV screening devices, services etc.

To view this course in its entirety, please click here