Examining the Association Between Oral Health and Oral HPV Infection
Oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the cause of 40% to 80% of oropharyngeal cancers; yet, no published study has examined the role of oral health in oral HPV infection, either independently or in conjunction with other risk factors. This study examined the relation between oral health and oral HPV infection and the interactive effects of oral health, smoking, and oral sex on oral HPV infection. Our analyses comprised 3,439 participants ages 30 to 69 years for whom data on oral HPV and oral health were available from the nationally representative 2009–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results showed that higher unadjusted prevalence of oral HPV infection was associated with four measures of oral health, including self-rated oral health as poor-to-fair [prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.56; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25–1.95], indicated the possibility of gum disease (PR = 1.51; 95% CI, 1.13–2.01), reported use of mouthwash to treat dental problems in the past week (PR = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.07–1.52), and higher number of teeth lost (Ptrend = 0.035). In multivariable logistic regression models, oral HPV infection had a statistically significant association with self-rated overall oral health (OR = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.15–2.09), independent of smoking and oral sex. In conclusion, poor oral health was an independent risk factor of oral HPV infection, irrespective of smoking and oral sex practices. Public health interventions may aim to promote oral hygiene and oral health as an additional measure to prevent HPV-related oral cancers. Cancer Prev Res; 6(9); 1–8. ©2013 AACR.