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Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Your Mouth

Posted on 11/15/2023 by Dick Hikade, DDS
African American couple smiling together after trip to Sunnyside Dentistry in Clackamas, ORMany common STDs can affect oral health and manifest symptoms inside the mouth. Understanding modes of transmission and recognizing signs enables prompt testing and treatment to limit complications. Practicing safe sexual habits is vital to protect oneself and one's partners from infections, ensuring long-term health. Being informed about protective measures helps reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Bacterial STDs

Syphilis and gonorrhea both spread through unprotected oral sex. Painless ulcers or cankers form on the lips, tongue, and gums in the early stages. Swelling of the lymph nodes under the jaw may occur as well. However, antibiotic therapy can cure bacterial STDs if treated early.

Viral STDs

Herpes simplex and human papillomavirus (HPV) are prevalent viruses that can show symptoms in the oral region. The herpes virus triggers painful sores on or around the lips that recur periodically. HPV causes small bumps to form in clusters inside the mouth or throat called genital warts. An HPV infection elevates the future risk of oral cancer. Medications are available to help manage outbreaks and symptoms, though these viral STDs have no cure. Practicing safe sexual habits remains important to avoid contracting these infections in the first place.

Preventing Transmission

Using condoms and dental dams for oral sex reduces STD transmission risks significantly. Limiting partners and avoiding intoxication help individuals make safer choices as well. Vaccination protects against HPV strains that cause oral warts and cancer. Getting tested regularly allows early diagnosis and treatment.

Recognizing Symptoms

Tingling, burning, or itching of the lips often precedes blister formation with herpes infection. HPV lesions tend to be flesh-colored, smooth bumps. Ulceration not caused by injury warrants medical evaluation. Difficulty swallowing or enlarged neck lymph nodes require prompt attention to identify the underlying cause.

Connection to Systemic Health

Oral chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis indicate likely genital infection as well. People living with HIV are prone to fungal infections like oral thrush due to weakened immunity. Managing STDs reduces complication risks for one's whole body.

Both medical providers and dentists should be informed about any STD history and symptoms. Oral ulcerations can mimic other severe conditions like cancer; therefore, ongoing monitoring and prompt treatment help preserve oral and general health.

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Clackamas, OR 97015-5240

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Dental Blog | Sunnyside Dentistry | Clackamas, OR dentist
Dick Hikade, DDS at Sunnyside Dentistry has created this informative blog to help educate the community about dental concerns.
Sunnyside Dentistry, 14210 SE Sunnyside Rd, Suite 200, Clackamas, OR 97015 - (503) 451-5104 - - 7/15/2024 - Related Terms: dentist Clackamas OR -