The American Dental Association recently adopted a policy asking dentists to support the use of the human papillomavirus HPV vaccinations.
According to an ADA press release, “There is incontrovertible evidence that this virus is responsible for the sharp uptick in oropharyngeal cancers, especially in younger patients and young adults,” said Paul Eleazer, D.D.S., immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. “I’m pleased the ADA is taking action to combat this crisis.”
Estimates from the American Cancer Society suggest that there will be more than 50,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers in 2018, with the majority being attributable to HPV. The HPV vaccinations could help prevent this increase but, despite its effectiveness, many parents are reluctant to have their children vaccinated.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, if you have HPV, you are 30 times more likely to get oral cancer. and it is affecting young people with increasing frequency. Take the Oral-Cancer Self Exam.