What is oral HPV?

The same types of HPV that infect genital areas may infect the mouth and throat. HPV that affects the mouth and throat is called oral HPV. Some types of oral HPV, known as “high risk types”, can cause cancers of the head and neck area. Other types of oral HPV, known as “low risk types”, can cause warts in the mouth or throat. In most cases, HPV infections of all types go away before they cause any health problems.

What head and neck cancers can be caused by HPV?

HPV can cause cancers in the back of the throat, most commonly in the base of the tongue and tonsils, an area known as the “oropharynx.” These cancers are called oropharyngeal cancers.

How common is oral HPV?

Studies have demonstrated that about 7% of people have oral HPV. However, only 1% of people have the type of oral HPV that is found in oropharyngeal cancers (HPV type 16). Oral HPV is about three times more common in men than in women.

How is oral HPV transmitted?

Only a few studies have investigated how people get infected by oral HPV, and some of these studies have conflicting results. Some studies have demonstrated that oral HPV may be passed on during oral sex or with kissing, while other studies have not shown this. The likelihood of getting HPV from kissing or having oral sex with someone who has HPV is not known. We do know that partners who have been together a long time tend to share genital HPV, which means they both may have the virus. More research is needed to understand exactly how people get infected and spread oral HPV infections.

Can HPV vaccines prevent oral HPV and oropharyngeal cancers?

The HPV vaccines that is now on the market were developed to prevent cervical and other less common genital cancers. It is possible that the HPV vaccines might also prevent oropharyngeal cancers, since the vaccines prevent an initial infection with HPV types that can cause oropharyngeal cancers, but the studies that have been conducted have not determined yet whether HPV vaccines will prevent oropharyngeal cancers.

Warts in the mouth – Treatment

These types of warts mayspontaneouslydisappear over time,thoughthis isnot always guaranteed.Oral wartsaremore dangerous than most other typesofwartsasthey can lead to cancer. Therefore, if you notice any unusual growth in your mouth or on your lips a doctor must be consulted immediately. Oral warts can be treated with various methods, but due to the difficulty in accessing the area, topical products have mixed results. The dermatologist can, thus, select from various methods including:surgical removal, cryotherapy, infusion of warts with interferon-alpha or CO2 Laser. Even when these treatments are effective, warts are always likely to reappear. Never attempt to remove the warts by yourself by burning, cutting them or using any other method.

See the other categories on warts and call us on 216 900 5000 to evaluate your condition or answer any questions you may have:

Oral Warts

Warts and Cancer

Penile Warts

Anal Warts

Warts in Women

Vaginal Warts

Vulvar Warts