Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human Papillomavirus Lesion Identified At The Dentist

Date:
February 19, 2009
Source:
Academy of General Dentistry
Summary:
Oral HPV can be detected using a very familiar, conventional device that patients may already experience in your mouth during routine procedures. This device is the VELscope. It's the wand that emits a bright, indigo blue light. If you've ever had a cavity, your dentist may have used the VELscope to set/harden the material used to fill the cavity.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different strains or types and is the most common sexually transmitted virus. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) reports that 75 percent or more of sexually active Americans will contract HPV sometime in their lives. HPV is most commonly attributed to causing cervical cancer and genital warts, but did you know HPV also causes oral cancer?

According to a study in the September/October 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), oral HPV can be detected using a very familiar, conventional device that patients may already experience in your mouth during routine procedures. This device is the VELscope. It’s the fun wand that emits a bright, indigo blue light. If you’ve ever had a cavity, your dentist may have used the VELscope to set/harden the material used to fill the cavity.

John C. Comisi, DDS, FAGD, author of the study, discovered that the blue light emitted from the VELscope also detects cancerous oral tissue. The study explains that when emitting a specific wavelength of light into the mouth, oral fluorescence occurs, which in turn causes the tissue to emit its own light (this is called natural fluorescence). The VELscope produces a blue light that excites the oral tissue cells. Healthy cells will fluoresce back and appear green in color, while damaged and unhealthy cells will not fluoresce and thus appear as black or dark maroon areas against the green surrounding tissue.

“Surgery can remove cancerous lesions, but typically if they are found at a late stage, the surgery can be extensive,” says Dr. Comisi. “Only early detection can help to minimize the extent of surgery needed to eradicate the disease. The earlier a lesion is detected, the higher the rate of survival,” he adds.

The Oral Cancer Foundation says that more than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Of those 34,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only half will be alive in 5 years. It will cause over 8,000 deaths—killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. The Oral Cancer Foundation warns that oral cancer is typically hard to diagnose because in early stages, it may not be noticed by the patient. The next time you visit your dentist, ask about oral cancer screening—most people receive one during their regular dental checkup but do not realize it. AGD spokesperson, Eugene Antenucci, DMD, FAGD, says, “Dentists have a unique ability to diagnose disease at an early stage. All dentists are trained to do comprehensive oral screening examinations—each individual practitioner decides on how to implement their training in their practices.”

Numerous studies have shown a connection to oral and overall health. That is why it is important to disclose all health related problems to a dentist—including STDs. “Web site educational information also proves helpful in informing and educating patients regarding diseases such as HPV, its mode of transmission, means of prevention, and the need for regular examinations utilizing technologies such as VELscope for early detection,” says Dr. Antenucci.

Prevention and detection

  • Maintain regular dental check-ups
  • Ask your dentist to perform an oral cancer screening
  • Disclose your medical history to your dentist – including STDs
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol use
  • If you notice abnormal growths, discoloration, tenderness, or bleeding contact your dentist right away.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of General Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy of General Dentistry. "Human Papillomavirus Lesion Identified At The Dentist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218181904.htm>.
Academy of General Dentistry. (2009, February 19). Human Papillomavirus Lesion Identified At The Dentist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218181904.htm
Academy of General Dentistry. "Human Papillomavirus Lesion Identified At The Dentist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090218181904.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins