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Could the HPV Vaccine Decrease My Child’s Risk of Oral Cancer?

Posted on February 27th, 2024

Cornelius dentist, Dr. Ryan Whalen at Whalen Dentistry talks to parents about the HPV vaccine and why it’s recommended at 11-12 years old.At Whalen Dentistry, our bad news is usually limited to the diagnosis of a dental infection we can treat without much difficulty. We’d like to keep it that way, which is why we may broach more sensitive subjects at times—specifically around the ages of 11 and 12, when doctors might recommend a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.

What relevance does this subject have when it comes to dentistry? Whalen Dentistry performs oral cancer screenings during each examination, and HPV has been named the #1 risk factor of oral cancer in recent years. While it’s rarely diagnosed in children, we practice prevention and want Cornelius parents to have all the information they need to ensure their child is healthy and happy for many years to come!

Does the HPV Vaccine Prevent Oral Cancer?

There are over 100 strains of HPV, and currently 14 of them are known to cause cancer (also called high-risk strains). The most common type of cancer diagnosed with the high-risk strains is cervical, and while the vaccine was created to halt its prevalence, it’s possible it may also prevent head and neck cancers.

Please contact Whalen Dentistry if you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer risks or any other dental topic. We’re here to be a source of knowledge and support for you and your loved ones, and we hope to smile with you soon!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


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