Human papillomavirus infection of the oral cavity : what the dentist should know

12 Jan 2018

The incidence of human papilloma virus-induced oropharyngeal carcinoma is steadily rising globally and the observation has become widely publicised in recent times. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is therefore an important infectious oncogenic agent. The aim of this article is to highlight the modes of transmission in HPV-related oral and oropharyngeal lesions whilst explaining the morphological spectra of benign and malignant disease which are attributed to low-risk and high-risk subtypes respectively. These issues as well as the topic of vaccination against HPV are likely to be the concern of many dental patients. The oral health care worker is therefore expected to provide appropriate counselling and education when informing patients of the potential health risks posed by HPV.