About HPV Screening

What is oral HPV screening and why is annual HPV screening important?

Oral HPV screening determines the presence of HPV DNA in the mouth.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the US. Infected individuals are frequently unaware that they are carriers, and transmission occurs unknowingly.  Most HPV infections are asymptomatic, meaning there are no early and obvious symptoms. A persistent HPV infection can lead to a malignant transformation.

HPV screening and education will increase HPV knowledge within the general population which has several important health benefits:

  • to increase self-efficacy and HPV vaccine acceptability,
  • to reduce oral HPV infection, and
  • to ultimately prevent HPV-associated oral cancer.

Who should do an annual HPV screening?

Annual HPV screening becomes important when individuals become sexually active, engage in oral sex, and especially for those who have multiple partners.

Annual screening is highly recommended for individuals who have a family history of oral cancer, and are the partners of oral cancer patients.

Why should you choose our HPV screening test?

Our oral HPV screening test is noninvasive: only an oral rinse sample is collected for evaluation.  Our laboratory test is more sensitive and accurate compared to other currently available tests on the market.  We offer fast turnaround time in our CLIA lab and we offer consultation and education after the test results are provided.

How is the oral HPV screening interpreted?

If the test result is HPV negative, you do not have an increased risk of developing oral cancer.  However, you should still do an annual visual oral cancer screening through your dentist and continue to do annual oral HPV screening.

If you test positive for oral HPV you might have an increased risk of developing HPV-associated oral cancer.  Your dentist should carefully perform a visual oral cancer screening to rule out the presence of any potential precancerous lesions.  You should also perform a follow-up oral HPV screening test in 6 months, to determine whether the HPV infection persists or has cleared.

Early detection of oral HPV helps prevent oral cancer

Our oral HPV test provides two time points and opportunities to prevent the development of HPV-associated oral cancer.

Through lifestyle changes that boost the patient’s immune system, oral HPV can be cleared by the body, thus preventing the development of precancerous lesions.

Through annual oral HPV screening, lesions that may develop will be detected at a precancerous stage and can then be effectively treated to prevent progression to invasive cancer. Follow up oral HPV screenings will be important indicators that the body has cleared the HPV.