Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States (HPV). It can impact several parts of the body, including the mouth and throat, and raise the risk of certain health problems. For more information about HPV in the mouth, read the following article that Healthowealth has provided.
What is HPV in the mouth?
Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a prevalent sexually transmitted infection with over 200 distinct types. 40 HPV strains are capable of causing infection in the throat, mouth, and genital regions.
HPV in the mouth arises when the virus enters the mouth, usually during oral intercourse. HPV in the mouth can affect both men and women, however, it is more frequent in men. While unprotected oral intercourse is the most prevalent source of HPV in mouth infections, many sexual partners and poor oral health are also risk factors.
In most cases, the HPV infection resolves without therapy within 1-2 years, however, this is not always the case because the virus can remain latent in the body for years. So, if you or your partner has an untreated, latent HPV infection, the virus can become active at any time and continue to transmit between you.
HPV in the mouth may eventually lead to the development of oropharyngeal cancer, or cancer of the back of the throat, over several years. HPV in the mouth is assumed to be responsible for 70% of oropharyngeal cancer cases.
HPV symptoms in the mouth
In most situations, HPV in the mouth does not cause symptoms; nonetheless, asymptomatic infection is not harmless. In many cases, the virus lies undiscovered for months or even years, which sadly allows the condition to develop and worsen.
Mouth infection with a low-risk strain of HPV, sometimes known as a wart-causing strain, may result in benign, wart-like growths within the oral cavity in rare situations. These growths might show as single bumps or as a clump of tiny, slightly elevated growths.
Even if no symptoms are present, oral infection with a high-risk strain of human papillomavirus increases your chance of developing oropharyngeal cancer, which is why early identification is crucial. Early warning indicators of oral cancer include:
- Swallowing Difficulties
- Hoarseness and persistent sore throat
- Lymph nodes or tonsils that are swollen
- A uncomfortable, sore lump that does not go away after three weeks
- A visible bump on the back of the neck
- Tissue discoloration within the mouth and throat
- Jaw swelling and discomfort
- An earache that does not go away after three weeks.
If you’re suffering these symptoms and don’t know why to speak with your healthcare professional to find out what the next steps are.
Is an at-home test for HPV in the mouth available?
It’s important to remember that at-home HPV tests are only intended to detect high-risk cervical HPV, not HPV in the mouth. There are currently no clinically proven home HPV in the mouth tests available to determine the presence of the virus in your mouth or throat.
HPV in the mouth-related health problems
Cancer of the oropharynx
Oropharyngeal cancer affects the oropharyngeal tissues, which include the back of your tongue, tonsils, soft palate, and throat walls.
It’s worth noting that, while an estimated 7% of people have HPV in the mouth, only approximately 1% of those people test positive for the particular strain linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
Cancer of the cervix
Cervical cancer is the most frequent kind of HPV-related cancer, accounting for roughly 10,900 new cases each year. Abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic discomfort, pain during intercourse, excessive vaginal discharge, and (sometimes) an unpleasant vaginal odor are all cervical cancer and precancer symptoms. According to studies, two high-risk strains of the virus, HPV-16, and HPV-18 are responsible for more than 70% of cervical malignancies and precancerous lesions.
vulvar and vaginal cancer
Vaginal cancer is usually associated with vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia—abnormal cells within the vaginal inner lining caused by HPV infection. According to researchers, HPV is responsible for around 600 new occurrences of this malignancy each year.
Vulvar cancer, which is also linked to HPV infection, develops in skin cells on the genital surface.
These tumors are distinguished by abnormal vaginal bleeding, watery discharge, difficult urination, pelvic discomfort, constipation, persistent itching, soreness, strange skin changes, and open sores.
Anal cancer caused by HPV is a very uncommon illness affecting both men and women, with 2,000 and 4,200 new cases diagnosed yearly. Researchers assume that the same two HPV strains—HPV 16 and HPV 18—are responsible for around 92 percent of infections. Anal itching, discomfort in the anal region, anal canal growths, and anal or rectal bleeding are all symptoms of the condition.
Warts on the genitalia
Genital warts are infectious but harmless growths that can appear on both the male and female genital surfaces. Infection with wart-causing strains of the virus causes vaginal irritation, tiny swellings in the genital region, clusters of cauliflower-shaped growths, and bleeding during intercourse. In many situations, genital warts are so little that they are almost imperceptible.
If, after reading the article “HPV in the mouth“, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.