Mouth warts or warts in mouth look like cauliflower growths and signal infection with HPV. While over one hundred HPV strains have been identified, six of them cause oral warts to develop. These include HPV 32, HPV 16, HPV 31, HPV 12, HPV 11, HPV 6, and HPV 2. Warts in mouth are generally harmless, small growths, which are known as cold sores and are very contagious.
There are some symptoms indicating that mouth warts are developing
These include problems with swallowing and soreness in the mouth, among others. Unless irritated due to the consumption of acidic foods, these warts are not painful.
Who gets warts in the mouth?
This type of warts is more common in patients with compromised immune systems and those with HIV. Persons who have gone through antiretroviral therapy are also at a higher risk of developing oral warts. Obviously, the more partners a person has, the higher the chances of HPV transmission.
Clinical assistant professor Dr. Susan Pugliese at SUNY Downstate’s Division of Oral Medicine explains that oral warts may occur on the roof of the mouth, the tongue, and the lips. She is seeing them more and more frequently in persons who are over 50 years of age and are dating. According to Dr Pugliese, this age group may not associate their intimate lives with what is going on in their mouth.
At the same time, it should be noted that HPV is linked to the development of oral cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, HPV infection has been responsible for 65 percent of all cancers of the base of the tongue and the tonsils. In 2010, 80 percent of all cancers were in men. If there are suspicious lesions or warts in the throat or the mouth, biopsy is normally recommended. Cancers appear as ulcers inside of the tongue, cheeks, and back of the throat and on the lips.
Finally, one research study at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, conducted by Dr. Maura Gillison has found out that some subtypes of HPV are associated with specific types of oral cancer. For example, one quarter of the patients who were diagnosed with neck and head cancers were HPV positive. Moreover, HPV 16 was found in ninety percent of the affected tissues. Thus, research suggests that some types of HPV cause the development of mouth warts and oral cancer.