CLEVELAND - New research just out shows how having a healthy mouth and preventing cavities could be an indication of how healthy your body is and may even help prevent certain cancers.
The study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research links poor oral health with an increased risk for oral HPV infection.
HPV infection has been linked to cancer. The Centers for Disease Control reports about 60 percent of mouth cancers, cancers of the throat, tonsils and base of the tongue are related to HPV.
In the study, participants who reported poor oral health had a 56 percent higher rate of HPV infection than those whose mouths were healthy.
People who had gum disease or other dental problems had a 51 percent higher risk of being infected with HPV.
According to doctors, every year in the U.S., there are more than 9,000 new diagnosis of HPV related mouth cancer among men and about 2,300 among women.