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How do I know if I have oral HPV. For the past 4 months I…

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How do I know if...
How do I know if I have oral HPV. For the past 4 months I have noticed a weird feeling when I swallow, and from time to time a tiny sore throats when I wake up that goes away throughout the day. Also I have a difficult time clearing my throat.
Thank you
Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Dental
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Answered in 13 minutes by:
9/13/2017
Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago
Beth Dorian
Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 22
Experience: DMD/Owner at Platteville Family Dentistry
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Hello, I'm Dr. Dorian, and I'm currently reviewing your question. Be back momentarily!

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Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

I know prolonged symptoms like that can be a bit worrying. But, my bet is that you're okay!

There possibilities besides HPV. That said... about about 80% of the adult population had (or have) HPV at some time, so that's extremely common! Most clear the virus, but not everyone. More on that later...

Anyway, since it is in the morning, perhaps you are breathing through your mouth when you sleep rather than your nose. The dry air and dust can irritate the throat and cause these symptoms.

HPV can cause similar symptoms, but there is nothing you can really do about it. The only way to know if you have been infected with HPV is to get tested for the virus. But, if you did, there is no cure, and your immune system will likely take care of it. Only a very small percentage will go on to get oral cancer. It depends on the strain of the virus you have. Even just a small percentage of those with the most dangerous strains will actually get cancer. But, as you know, so so many adults have had this infection, even those small percentages can add up real, absolute numbers. So, that's why there is increasing awareness about it. But, from a percentage standpoint, risk is low.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
What would suggest that I do? Just in case! Should I bring it up to my dentist at my next appointment? And since you said 80% of people get it, I should not really worry right? I just really worry since I had melanoma cancer before. And also what can I do to get rid of symptoms?
Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

One clue to look for, (if you're a mouth breather) is the redness of your gums. Those who chronically breathe through their mouth when they sleep will often have red gums around their front teeth (rather than pink).

And, by the way, for that super worst case, (and rare) scenario when HPV does cause oral cancer, it takes many years after the initial infection. Statistically, men in the 25 to 35 range.

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Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

Most of your average dentists are not set up for HPV testing. I'd try your regular physician for that. If positive for HPV, see if they can determine the strain of it too. Let me do a quick check on how that's done! Be back momentarily.

I'm sorry about the melanoma! That's quite a scare!!

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Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

Okay, those dentists who are set up with Oral DNA can do it. See link below, and they should be able to do the test you want so you can set your mind at ease! I am familiar with this company, but in my demographic, it would not make sense financially to set up with them. (and most dentists aren't). But, some are, and their website will help you locate one in your area.

https://www.oraldna.com/FindDentist.aspx

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Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

And this shows a report of the "worst case scenario" and associated recommendations.

https://www.oraldna.com/Resources/HpvCompleteGenoPosSampleReport.pdf

Getting rid of your symptoms depends on the cause. If by chance it was an infection with HPV, you just have to let nature take it's course. If you're a mouth breather when you sleep, here is a website that offers some suggestions/products to keep you from doing that.

https://snorezing.com/mouth-breather-cant-breathe-through-nose/

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Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

I just wanted to let you know that I have to log off for a while. But, I'll check back later today to see if you have any more questions. If you're really concerned, you can also see an ear nose and throat physician to look at your throat. It could be as simple as tonsillitis (possibly due to allergies this time of year.)

With a history of a melanoma, I understand why you'd be much more vigilant about any symptoms that pop up! I totally understand that! Good to be on this site though. I'm sure there are a few dermatologists available if you notice anything on your skin. :)

By chance if your HPV test comes up negative for the more dangerous strains, you can get a vaccine to prevent it. (even if you have a positive result for other strains of HPV)

Again, I'll check back to see if you have any more questions.

Warm Regards,

Beth Dorian

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I don't have tonsils, I got them taken out when I was little. When the symptoms for started, I had a small irritated bump on my soft palate. Do you think my over-thinking could have caused these symptoms to keep going on? And here is a picture of where the bump is. Also, my gums seem to be pretty healthy. Thanks again!
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Oh yeah and before the effects/symptoms started occurring I got all the vaccine shots. Probably a like a year before.
Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

Those bumps (if you're referring to the areas I circled), look completely normal. It looks like lymph tissue doing its job. Your tongue looks normal too. I'm sure your throat just got a little irritated for whatever reason (allergens), and your lymph tissue responded enough for you to notice something different. Good job capturing that area!

Your throat looks pretty normal to me. Maybe ever so slightly red. It looks like throats I see every day. It definitely does not look like anything serious! Hard to distinguish the gums in the third photo. It was a little blurry.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
It's actually a little bit above what you circled, but if they were warts or something would they have a distinct appearance?
Dentist: Beth Dorian, Dentist (DDS or equivalent) replied 9 months ago

I don't see anything noteworthy above those bumps. Yes, if it was a wart, it would have a very distinct appearance. For those that have the HPV warts, the good news, is that the strain that produces them is not the dangerous one. However, you don't have them anyway. No sign of anything amiss in those photos! Is your sore throat feeling better?

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