Can Genital Warts Spread To The Mouth? Oral Human Papilloma Virus; Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the major cause of genital warts, and it has also been recognized as the major cause of genital warts. It is also being discovered to be the major cause of cervical cancer in women. Genital warts can also infect the back of the mouth, the tonsils, and the mouth.
Genital warts appear as very soft projections, and they usually come up on the genitals. They are among the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and they are caused by specific strains of the HPV. They can lead to itching, discomfort, and pain also. At times they cause cancer of the vulva and cervix, which makes them very dangerous for women.
What is Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)?
It is a virus that causes sexually transited infection. It is available in up to 40 subtypes, and they canal infect the throat and genital region.
HPV is also referred to as the most common cause of STI in the United States. Research shows that those individuals that are active sexually can rarely avoid contacting HPV at a point in their lives. There are up to 100 types of this virus already discovered. The 40 subtypes earlier mentioned affecting the throat and genital region. The virus can also spread from skin to skin.
Sexual intercourse with an infected person is one of the most common causes of this health problem. Those who engage in oral sex can also end up with this infection. This is considered as the most common of all the types of oral HPV.
Can genital warts spread to the mouth: How can one contact oral/HPV warts?
Have you ever asked your self- can genital warts spread to the mouth? Oral sex is the route taken by genital warts to invade the mouth. Sexual contact remains the best way to transmit tonsilar HPV. The present-day prevalence recorded in tonsilar HPV infection is mainly due to the increase in oral sex. As the number of sexual partners increases, their chances of developing oral HPV increases. Those who smoke are also at a higher risk of developing this problem compared to those who do not smoke.
What causes HPV/Oral warts or mouth warts?
Humans can be affected by different forms of warts. The common ones are usually seen in areas like hands, genitals, and feet. It can also seem in the mouth of some other people. Warts that appear in the mouth are painful and somewhat difficult to treat. Be that as it may, oral warts are rare. They are also sexually transited.
The virus usually spread to the mouth when you touch an infected skin. The virus can flourish in the mouth since the environment is moist and warm. The infection can occur after several days or weeks of getting the virus. It may be difficult for the person to talk, eat or drink. It is almost impossible to cure the virus, but anyone infected with oral HPV can follow some steps to ameliorate the problem.
Warts can be seen in any part of the oral cavity, including the lips. They become painful only if they get irritated or traumatized. They can also appear small and discreet. Only a few of them can be visible each time. They also differ in shape; some are a dome, and some are cauliflower. The color is usually white, and some can have a flat top with darker colors. The increase in the rate of oral sex has led to increases in the prevalence of mouth wart.
Signs and symptoms associated with oral HPV infection
No symptom has been associated with oral HPV. This means many of those who end up with it do not know until it manifests. As a result, they will not take any step to curb it until it shows up and spread. In some instances, it is possible to have warts in the throat or mouth without any sexual complication, but this is not a common situation.
The oral wart can develop into oropharyngeal cancer also. In oropharyngeal cancer, the cancer cells can be seen in places like pharynx wall, tonsils, tongue, and middle of the throat. The cells can arise from oral HPV. Some of the early symptoms of the cancer are highlighted below:
- Lumps or growth on the neck
- Lumps on the cheeks
- Constant sore throats
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Unexpected weight loss
- Coughing up blood
- Constant earaches
- Trouble swallowing
You can think of HPV infection if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Risks of oral HPV: Can Genital Warts Spread To The Mouth
Some of the risks are highlighted below:
- Oral sexual activity is one of the major risk factors. This also increases if the person has multiple sexual partners. Anyone having up to 20 or more sexual partners has a higher rate of getting the infection, and this rate can be as high as 20%.
- Another risk factor is smoking. You become vulnerable to cuts and tears in the mouth if you inhale the hot smoke from cigarettes.
- Alcohol consumption is yet another risk factor. Things even get worse if you smoke and drink.
- One other risk factor is open mouth kissing. Be that as it may, research has not given a solid conclusion on this.
- Male is at a higher risk of contracting oral HPV than female.
Age is another risk factor worthy of mentioning. This problem occurs more in older adults since the problem requires some years to develop. These risk factors serve as a line of answer to the question ‘Can genital warts spread tot the mouth?’.
Specific signs for HPV positive oral cancer
One of the first signs includes difficulty in swallowing. The other signs common to the infection are:
- Hoarseness that refuse to resolve
- Lump on the cheek or neck
- Coughing of blood
These are not necessarily signs of cancer. You should, however, see your doctor if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.
Diagnoses of oral HPV
There is no specific method of diagnosing this condition. The doctor or dentist may, however, Detect a lesion in your mouth via cancer screening. You should also make an appointment with them if you are the one that first noticed the lesion.
The doctor can carry out a biopsy to check if the lesion in your mouth is cancerous or not. They can also examine the biopsy if it has HPV. Cancer may respond to treatment better if there is HPV in it.
How to treat oral HPV-positive cancer
Many of them go away on their own, and they may never cause any health issue whatsoever. If you have an oral HPV infection, the doctor will first help you to remove warts. It may be difficult to apply the typical treatment on oral warts since it is not ways to reach warts in the mouth. Any of the methods below may be adopted by your doctor to treat the condition. The doctor can either use radiation therapy or chemotherapy for treating warts. Surgery is also useful followed by radiation therapy. They may also apply chemotherapy. In radiation therapy, the doctor sends high level of radiation to kill cancer and stop it from dividing or growing. Chemotherapy talks about drugs used in killing cancer cells directly.
After the initial surgery for oropharyngeal cancer, there may be a need for additional surgery for reconstruction of the parts removed in the mouth during the surgery.
How to prevent oral HPV
There is rarely any recommendation for oral HPV screening by dental and medical organizations. One of the easiest ways to prevent the development of this problem is via lifestyle changes. Some preventive tips are given below:
- Use condom or dental dams when you are having oral sex
- Never forget to check your mouth at least once in a month for any abnormality
- Never forget to visit the dentist at least once every six months. Ask the dentist to check for any abnormal growth or lesion in your mouth; this is even more important if you often engage in oral sex.
- Never forget to use condom each time you have sexual intercourse
- You should avoid oral sex if you are not familiar with a particular partner
- Find out from your partner if they have been tested for STD recently
- Reduce the number of sexual partners you have.
- Ang KK, Harris J, Wheeler R, et al. Human papillomavirus and survival of patients with oropharyngeal cancer. N Engl J Med 2010;363:24-35.
- Gillison ML, Broutian T, Pickard RKL, et al. Prevalence of oral HPV infection in the United States, 2009-2010. JAMA 2012;307:693-703.
- Chaturvedi AK, Engles EA, Pfieffer RM, et al. Human papillomavirus and the rising oropharyngeal cancer incidence in the United States. J Clin Oncol 2011;29:4294-4301.