Dentist Now Checking for Oral HPV

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These days a trip to the dentist includes more than a check of your teeth and gums. It also includes a peak into your sexual history. At one Seattle dentist office a health and wellness examination now comes complete with a check for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

These days a trip to the dentist includes more than a check of your teeth and gums. It also includes a peak into your sexual history.

At one Seattle dental office a health and wellness examination now comes complete with a check for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). According to dentist, Dr. Brian McKay and Registered Dental Hygienist, Cris Duval, HPV is the fastest growing oral cancer-causing agent.

“Changing times means changes in morals and oral sex means the HPV virus is showing up more and more in both males and females,” says McKay. “Males often times display no symptoms, acting like a carrier of the virus and as we all learned in high school biology, a virus only needs the tiniest of entry points to spread.”

Duval and McKay screen every patient they see in their practice. “We’re on the front lines of this epidemic,” says Duval. “When a new patient comes in, we use the Velscope - the world’s first non-invasive oral cancer screening system, along with a comprehensive soft tissue exam,” according to Duval. “We also let our patients know that they or their partner could be at risk for developing HPV related oral cancer, if they have had 5 or more conventional or oral sex partners.”

In addition, many are choosing a new advanced healthcare screening technology test offered by McKay and Duval called OraRisk. This test provides them the ability to establish risk for HPV-related cancers of the oral, head and neck regions and helps to determine necessary immune support, accelerated monitoring conditions and possible referral. “Early detection is the key – before symptoms appear is the best time to discover if something is amiss,” says McKay.

Duval and McKay lecture on this subject to other dental professionals and most are unaware that a person dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. They also teach how to use the Velscope and were the first dental office in America to employ the technology.

According to Dr. McKay, people thought oral cancer would go away with the decline in smoking and tobacco use however that is not the case. “There are now more deaths from oral cancer than cervical cancer,” McKay states. Quoting the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, McKay points out that there are more then 400,000 new cases reported worldwide yearly. Combined with throat cancer, the numbers for oral cancer in America are in excess of 41,000 with 12,500 deaths each year.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Duval and McKay are conducting screenings all month. “We can’t stand by and watch this get any more out of hand. It has to stop and we are here to see that happen,” states McKay. “If we can get it in its early stages it can be cured. But, early on there is no pain and oftentimes, people are simply unaware and, unfortunately, aren’t being screened annually or at all,” says Duval.

Oral Cancer has been in the news recently with the disclosures of it by movie critic Roger Ebert. Ebert lost his jawbone to complications from salivary gland cancer and NBA coach George Karl was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. Neither had the HPV virus but McKay notes that there has been a 30 percent increase in the disease since the year 2000.

About Brian McKay, DDS

Brian McKay, DDS graduated from the USC Dental School before establishing his dental practice in Seattle. McKay achieved international distinction as a Founding Faculty member, lecturer and Faculty Leader of the world-renowned Pacific Aesthetic Continuum based at the University of Pacific Dental School in San Francisco. After leaving the faculty, he concentrated on developing an innovative non-judgmental approach to the practice of dentistry while lecturing and writing. He authored the book, “Bulimia Is A Dental Disease” (Xlibris Press, 2008).

Contact:
Tanya Goodman
206-369-7267
600 Broadway, Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98122
tanya(at)acld(dot)com
http://www.acld.com

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Tanya Goodman