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ADA Adopts Policy on HPV Vaccination for the Prevention of Oral HPV Infection

October 25, 2018

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CHICAGO — With the number of cases of HPV-associated cancers on the rise, the American Dental Association (ADA) has adopted a policy that urges dentists to support the use and administration of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. 

The combined estimate by the American Cancer Society is that there will be more than 50,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers in 2018, of which 70 to 80 percent will be attributable to HPV. The HPV vaccine could help prevent the vast majority of the oropharyngeal cases, but compared to other vaccines in the U.S., it is underutilized. According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, the single best predictor of whether a young person or adolescent receives the vaccine is a recommendation from a trusted health care professional. 

“There is incontrovertible evidence that this virus is responsible for the sharp uptick in oropharyngeal cancers, especially in younger patients and young adults,” said Paul Eleazer, D.D.S., immediate past chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs. “I’m pleased the ADA is taking action to combat this crisis.”  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine during adolescence. For adults who did not receive the vaccine in adolescence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced approval for persons ages 27 to 45 to be vaccinated.  

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website