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What HPV Can Do to Harm Your Oral Health

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US, with an estimated 14 million new cases every year. There are over 40 types of HPV, with most being cleared from the body by your immune system, without causing health issues. However, some types of HPV negatively affect the mouth and throat. Low-risk strains can cause warts in the mouth and throat, but high-risk strains have been linked to head and neck cancers, known as oropharyngeal cancers. HPV-related Cancers: Prevalence and Symptoms High-risk strains of head and neck cancer can affect any part of your mouth or throat. Although oral cancer is only one type of head and neck cancer, an estimated 7 percent of Americans have oral HPV, with 1 percent having the type found in head and neck cancers. Currently, HPV is linked to 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer each year in the US and is 4 times more prevalent in men than women. Symptoms of these cancers include: Soreness or irritation that doesn’t disappear Red or white

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