You might find it strange if your Dentist asks you a question about your sex life. Don't think he is trying to get into your business. Rather, he is trying to catch and prevent a deadly form of cancer. Up until recently, the questions your dentist asked were limited to the dreadful one about how often you floss. In the past, the average dentist wouldn't dare ask about your bedroom behavior, but a new study in the "Journal of the American Dental Association" suggests that dentists should begin asking more personal questions to look out for a type of cancer of the mouth.

Cancer of the throat

Your dentist needs to know about a practice that could affect your mouth, tongue, throat, and tonsils. Dentists are beginning to pay closer attention to those areas in other to spot any signs of oropharyngeal cancers that might have been spread through intimate practices. A dentist might become concerned if a patient has a prolonged sore throat or a lump in the neck. The dentist does the patient a disservice if he doesn't address the symptoms he sees.

Dentists and dental hygienists

Dentists and dental hygienists may be the first ones to detect symptoms of oropharyngeal cancers; therefore, it is not unusual that personal questions have been authorized. There have been barriers to asking such personal questions because of lack of privacy in most dental offices and the fear of embarrassment on the part of the patient and the dentist.

Dentists have confessed that they don't bring it up because it is such a sensitive subject for both men and women.

According to the study, dentists and dental hygienists are key people in identifying and letting their patients know what they suspect so treatment for that particular type of cancer can begin. Dr. Ellen Daly is recommending training for those in the dental profession on how to tactfully handle the delicate subject with their patients.

Growth of throat cancer

There is a spread of throat cancer, and it has become a growing problem. Only 21 percent of cases were recorded before 1990. The University School of Medicine and Public Health reported that after 2000, that percentage grew to an alarming number. The reason has been traced to people who have become more active and orally intimate.

In order to reduce the risk of throat cancer, dentists have a responsibility to question patients and advise them about the dangers. Patients should report any symptoms to a dentist or doctor. In case people don't know, there is a vaccine that can prevent the cancer-causing strains. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends it for those who meet certain criteria.