This project was for DEN1200 – Fundamentals of Dental Hygiene II.
As a dental hygienist, I examine the head and neck of all of my patients to look for anything that is abnormal. In dental hygiene school, I learned that low-risk strands of the Human Papilloma Virus cause mouth and throat warts while the high-risk strands are associated with cancers.
Some of the signs and symptoms of HPV related cancers are:
- A sore, or soreness or irritation that doesn’t go away
- Red or white patches, or pain, tenderness, or numbness in mouth or lips
- Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Men are twice as more likely then women to be affected. HPV-positive head and neck cancers typically develop in the throat at the back of the tongue and near or in the folds of the tonsils, which makes them difficult to detect so a careful intra-oral cancer screening exam would be priceless to patient’s who suffer from HPV related cancers.