Oral sex – pleasure or danger
Dr K’s dental tips
Free oral health and dental advice from Dr Kometsi Mokuele
Setting the FAQ’s straight

Oral Sex – Cunnilingus – Fellatio – Shear pleasure or health hazard!!!!!
{Cunnilingus – performed on female sexual organ // Fellatio – performed on male}
What have you been doing with strangers?

As health workers, we will only speak of the dangers; after all we can’t imagine what every couple derives from the pleasure experienced during the act; nor are we to be certain whether everyone will continue engaging, despite our well researched advice.
We classify the dangers of oral sex into 3:
1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
2. HIV
3. Gum disease / gingivitis

All of which can be transmitted between the parties engaging in oral sex, although sometimes a certain gender can be more at risk than the opposite one.

1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
1.1 Herpes Simplex Virus – HSV1 and HSV2 can be transmitted between genitals and the mouth/lips, even in the absence of symptoms, through skin to skin contact.

A) Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1) – cold sores found on the lips of the mouth
B) Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2) – genital sores found around the genitals.

In both cases, there are antiviral creams and antiviral tablets that may prevent or shorten outbreaks! However, treatment is complicated as one type of virus migrates to a site other than the usually documented one. There is no cure for Herpes Simplex Virus – HSV1 and HSV2.

1.2 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
HPV is also referred as genital warts.

HPV transmitted via oral sex is believed to be the main cause of throat cancer and a major cause of cervical cancer in women. (Michael Douglas – Actor, claims that his throat cancer was caused by his love of oral sex).
HPV is also transmittable through skin to skin contact.

1.3 Gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea bacteria are transmittable through oral sex.
Gonorrhea causes throat infections that are difficult to treat.
Gonorrhea also causes discharge from the mouth, which can re-infect the genitals via oral sex.
Gonorrhea requires antibiotics for treatment. It may cause infertility in men if left untreated.

1.4 Chlamydia
Chlamydia is transmitted more commonly through fellatio / blow job.
There is a low female to female transmission.
It causes sore throat and burning during urination and during sexual intercourse for women.
It requires antibiotics for treatment

1.5 Syphilis
Syphilis is extremely transmittable via oral sex.
It is only contagious while one has symptoms of syphilis.
Syphilis causes sores and can damage many body organs, including the brain.

1.6 Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is transmitted less via oral sex but higher risk through oral to anal sex.

2. HIV
HIV is most easily transmitted via vaginal or anal sex.
Oral transmission of HIV increases when there are cuts and bleeding areas in the mouth. Oral transmission of HIV also increases when there are sores from other STDs.
HIV is usually associated with a severe form of gum disease that causes bleeding gums and severe halitosis or bad breath. Bleeding gums make many more STD’s easily transmitted through the blood.

HIV concentration in saliva is very, very low, making French kissing low risk. However, HIV concentration in blood is very high!
Oral sex with bleeding gums or genitals increases chances of infection with HIV. Cuts or ulcers in genitals are also a high risk factor.

Genital fluids like vaginal fluids or semen carry less viral load than blood but are significantly risky if they come across the soft tissues of the oral cavity (mouth). Sores, ulcers and cuts in the mouth increase the risk even further.

3. Gum disease / gingivitis
Gum disease / gingivitis is transmitted mostly to females who give oral sex than those who receive it.
Microorganisms from the oral cavity may be transmitted to the vagina and cause vaginal infections, especially from candida and bleeding gums.

In conclusion, please take necessary precautions! Please get tested for all of the above. What you do thereafter is beyond the scope of this piece of advice.