Is Kissing a Big Risk Factor for Oral Cancer?

A kiss is a sign of affection. When it comes to health benefits, it may help relieve headache, release happy hormones, boost one’s self-esteem and lower blood pressure. There is a new study, however, that indicates it can be bad for people.
mouth cancer screeningAccording to the latest report, kissing has now overtaken cigarette smoking as the major risk factor for developing neck and head cancer. It may pass on human papilloma virus (HPV), which is responsible for around 70% of mouth cancer cases.
Cancer-Causing HPV
HPV affects the deepest layers of the skin and the cells lining body cavities, but causes no symptoms at first. Once the virus has infected a person, the risk for developing cancer is 250 times higher. In some cases, the infection gets better on its own. For others, however, HPV becomes persistent and stays around for a lifetime.
‘High-risk behaviours are oral sex, multiple kissing partners, and more recently there are reports even “petting” can lead to infection’, warned Dr Mahiban Thomas, head of Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Surgery at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Australia. ‘If someone has kissed in excess of six people their risk of contracting HPV is higher, or if someone has kissed in excess of nine people the risk is significantly higher again’.
As the virus may affect both men and women, regardless of age or race, the need for early detection and treatment became more important than ever.
Importance of Mouth Cancer Screening
Oral cancer, when left neglected, is dangerous. Those affected may not notice the infection during the early stages. This is the reason undergoing mouth cancer screening regularly is a must, especially for couples.
Due to changes in lifestyle, there is no wonder the number of HPV-related cancers are on the rise. Here at Danny de Villiers Dentist, we aim to stop this growing threat. We offer comprehensive mouth cancer screening services. It is a short procedure that thoroughly examines the whole mouth to determine any lesions, lumps, ulcers or spots. Contact us today for fast assistance.